Dubai: Police and traffic authorities across the UAE have started raising awareness about the need to ensure tyre safety as the summer heat rises. Over the past few days, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Sharjah Police have all issued advisories, asking motorists to ensure their tyres are in a good condition.
On June 5, Abu Dhabi Police took to its social media accounts, to remind motorists that driving with tyres that are not fit to drive can lead to a fine of Dh500, four black points and a week of the vehicle being impounded.
As part of its 'Safe Traffic Summer' Campaign, Abu Dhabi Police, urged drivers to urgently check the tyres of their vehicles to ensure they are safe and undamaged, to avoid accidents during summer resulting from high temperatures.
On the same day, Sharjah Police also announced that it was intensifying its awareness campaign for drivers to check their vehicle tyres to ensure the roads stay safe, especially during the summer.
Captain Fahd Al Balushi, Director of the External Roads Branch, said that high temperatures during summer increase the risk of accidents due to tyre bursts.
Dubai’s RTA also said that vehicle tyres are affected by heat during summer and recommended using a reliable tyre pressure gauge or an authorised monitoring system to inspect tyre pressure, to ensure road safety.
How does the heat affect tyre safety?
According to an awareness blog post by tyre manufacturer Bridgestone Middle East, as a rule of thumb, tyre pressure increases by 0.1 bar, or 1.4 PSI (pound per square inch), for every 10°C change in ambient temperature. As tyres usually have air pressure between 30 to 35 PSI the heat can increase the pressure inside tyres considerable, making them expand. If tyres are worn out or not carefully maintained, this can lead to a tyre burst, according to Hassan Sajjad, owner of Dubai-based Autostatd motor services.
“The summer heat leads to thermal expansion in tyres. Also, rubber and polyurethane products become soft at high temperatures. Along with frictional heat produced by the tyres when on the road, this can lead to extreme wear and tear and increase chances of bursting,” he said.
"A car’s wheel alignment also plays an important role in causing tyre bursts. If the suspension and wheel alignment is not right, it might appear fine from the outside, but keeps getting damaged internally," he added.
According to the UAE’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) accidents due to burst tyres led to 110 deaths in 2018.
The summer heat leads to thermal expansion in tyres. Also, rubber and polyurethane products become soft at high temperatures. Along with frictional heat produced by the tyres when on the road, this can lead to extreme wear and tear and increase chances of bursting.
How to maintain tyre safety
So, how can you ensure that your tyres are road safe? There are some basic metrics that you can monitor to track your tyre’s road worthiness, including age of the tyre, it’s tread and air pressure.
“As per UAE laws, a tyre's validity is for five years, after which they cannot be used on UAE roads. You can see the year of manufacture on the tyre itself. That must be noted by the customer when they buy the tyres, because they would only be valid for five years from the year of manufacturing,” Anil Chacko, owner of Motoka Auto Services in Dubai, told Gulf News.
As per UAE laws, a tyre's validity is for five years, after which they cannot be used on UAE roads. You can see the year of manufacture on the tyre itself. That must be noted by the customer when they buy the tyres, because they would only be valid for five years from the year of manufacturing.
He also shared the following tips that motorist can follow to ensure tyre safety:
• Buy tyres from authorised dealers only.
• If possible, buy all four tyres together to ensure even wear.
• The tyres should be rotated and balanced every 10,000km and at every 15,000km to 20,000km you should get the wheels aligned.
• Check the tyre pressure frequently. What should your car's tyre pressure be? This is mentioned on the door pillar of your vehicle, so a quick glance can tell you exactly what PSI your tyres should be.
• Check the tyre tread if your vehicle is being used heavily. Often, if your job entails driving long distances, the tyre tread might wear out and the tyres would need to be replaced before the five-year validity.