Car inspections: every tenth car's winter tire tread level is below normal

By surveying almost 350 cars in six Latvian cities during the annual free car inspections, Circle K and the Safe Driving School found out whether the drivers have made sure of the technical readiness of the car for winter roads and are ready to move safely in traffic. Although the majority of drivers had already managed to put on winter tires, every tenth car had them below the permitted tread level.

"Drivers are generally responsible and prepare for winter roads in time - most of the inspected cars were already equipped with winter tires and an appropriate tread level (6-7 mm). The tread level of 10% of drivers' winter tires was below 4 mm, which must be changed in such cold and snowy conditions," says Jānis Vanks, director of the Safe Driving School.

The worst equipped car was tested in Jelgava – the driver's car was equipped with 12-year-old winter tires with a tread of 0.9 mm. Such tires do not perform their function even with light precipitation at low temperatures and are not allowed to move in traffic with a vehicle.

13% of the surveyed vehicles had a battery charge level below 30%. "If the battery is new, there is no reason to worry, but if the battery is older, the charge level can drop quickly under the influence of heat or cold. Using an outdated or damaged battery is not only unprofitable and inconvenient, but even dangerous, so it is especially important to prevent the battery from discharging up to 30% in the winter season. Irreversible mechanical damage can occur due to low temperatures and frost," explains Jānis Vanks.

During the campaign, there were several cases when car owners had not yet taken care of window fluids intended for use in winter. This was not done by every third driver in Jelgava and almost half or 46% of the surveyed drivers in Riga.

Gatis Titovs, head of the fuel category of Circle K Latvia, reminds us that quality fuel in the tank is just as important as the technical condition of the car. “With the onset of cold weather and frost, it is recommended to check the fuel filters. The specialist will make sure that the filters are clean and in good technical condition - if necessary, they will have to be replaced. Cars with a diesel engine must make sure that no remnants of summer fuel have accumulated in the filters - when the temperature drops below 0 degrees, the car tank should only contain arctic diesel fuel," explains Gatis Titovs.

For annual free car inspections
Taking care of traffic safety, Drošas Braukšanas Skola (DBS Autoskola) in cooperation with Circle K gas stations offers free car inspections every year so that drivers can make sure that their cars are ready for winter roads. Car tests this year took place from November 12 to November 27 in six Latvian cities - Riga, Jelgava, Liepāja, Ventspils, Daugavpils and Valmiera.

During inspections:
• Determines the compliance of winter tires with the law and the basic principles of safe driving - they are in working order if they are not older than five years, and the tire tread in the shallowest part is not less than 4 to 5 millimeters;
• Checks the operation of the car battery;
• Inspects the car's headlights to see if they are properly adjusted and do not dazzle oncoming drivers;
• Checks the quality of the window wipers so that they can be replaced if necessary;
• Provides advice on safe driving in the winter season and the preparations to be made so that the car is ready for winter roads.