We’re right in the middle of winter, and this weekend past we’ve seen some exceptionally cold days in Melbourne. So that means it’s time to talk about what happens at those freezing temperatures. That’s right – I’m talking about icy roads, and the serious dangers they pose to drivers.
Without a tyre pressure monitor, subzero temperatures can lead to disaster
Roads are designed to have high-friction surfaces that your tyres can easily grip, so you have enough traction when driving. That means that your tyres can roll as they’re supposed to, and push off against the asphalt. But when roads get icy, they lose all their friction, and your tyres can slip and skid like anything. That’s why you have to be extremely careful when driving on icy roads, as it’s all-too easy to lose control.
Especially dangerous is so-called ‘black ice’: thin layers of ice that are virtually invisible, so you don’t know that you need to slow down for them. It’s the element of surprise that makes it such a deadly trap. Black ice claims the lives of many drivers, and is a major hazard in the winter.
But what does all this have to do with tyre pressure monitoring systems? Remember how we said before that what makes ice dangerous is that it takes away the friction from the surface of the road, and stops you from getting the traction you need? Well, guess what else also lowers your traction and makes it more likely that you’ll lose control. If you guessed improperly inflated and worn-down tyres, then congratulations. Badly inflated tyres and icy roads make for a lethal combination.
With a TPMS, you have the awareness you need to keep your tyre pressure in the safe range all the time. Automated tyre sensors pick up on changes in the pressure, and alert you that they’re happening so you can do something straight away – instead of waiting to catch it next time you get around to manually checking your tyre pressure. And by the way, one of the things that affects tyre pressure? Temperature changes. After a cold snap, your tyre pressure might not be what you think it is.
So don’t get caught off guard on the roads. Drive safe, look out for ice, and get a tyre pressure monitor so that you’re always driving with correctly inflated tyres.