Tyres. The only thing holding your vehicle to the road while driving. Literally!
Research by the CSIR indicates that nearly 20% of accidents involving minibuses have tyre failure as a contributing factor. When braking, the idea is to have sufficient friction between the road surface and tyre to bring the vehicle to a standstill. No matter how good your brakes are, if your tyres are worn there will not be enough friction and the vehicle will slide dangerously over the road surface.
How to handle an emergency.
If a tyre bursts, do not apply the brakes; rather use the momentum and gears to slow down the vehicle. A sudden change in direction or braking will result in loss of control over the vehicle. Rather lose one rim than your whole car!
Basic rules about tyre safety.
All four tyres should be of the same size, speed rating and construction (radial or cross ply). Tyre brand and tread pattern must be the same on each axle.
The importance of the correct pressure cannot be over-emphasised.
Check tyre pressure, including the spare, once a week or before undertaking a long journey
Always use a reliable pressure gauge
Check tyre pressure in the early morning (low ambient temperature)
Only use tyre sizes recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle, at the recommended inflation pressure
Over and under-inflation reduces tyre to road contact and shortens tyre life. The tyre responds in the same manner to under-inflation as to overloading and the same applies to over-inflation/underloading:
You should always consult your vehicle manual for the proper tyre size and speed rating. Most tyres are now marked with letters to indicate their speed ratings. If you suspect any damage to the tyres - consult a tyre expert!