New drivers in Ireland are being encouraged to check tires when purchasing their first car.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) together with An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), issued the advice as part of Tyre Safety Day, held earlier in October.

The RSA said tires are often the last feature people consider when purchasing their first car, but said they were one of the most important checks to make as they maintain a driver’s grip on the road.

“Tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road and their importance is often overlooked,” said Sam Waide, CEO of the RSA.

“It’s vital to get into the habit of regularly checking your tires, from the moment you purchase your first car. Ensure your tires are properly inflated, check the tread depth and confirm they are free from cracks, tears or bulges. If your tires show signs of deterioration, you should have them replaced immediately.”

The RSA has issued the following general tips on tire maintenance:

  • The minimum legal tread depth for a car is 1.6mm, however, it is recommended you consider replacing them once they are below 3mm. There is 8mm of tread on a new tyre. The legal limit for motorcycles is 1mm.
  • Poor tyre condition can lead to internal rust, rapid deflation or a possible blow out.
  • Look out for cracks, cuts or grazes on the side wall of the tire, and any visible bulges. Ensure wheels are aligned and balanced.
  • Don’t forget to check your spare tire.