A recent survey carried out by Tyre Safe and Highways England found that a quarter of all drivers had an illegal tyre on their vehicle, at the time they were replaced – suggesting that nearly 10 million tyres on the roads of England, Scotland, and Wales could be dangerous and illegal in 2015.
This has been the most comprehensive survey across Britain’s tyre industry to date, which collated data on the tread depth of tyres as they were being replaced. The legal minimum limit is 1.6 mm across the central three quarters of the breadth of the tyre and all around the outer circumference and there should be no cuts or bulges anywhere on the tyre. Tread depth plays a decisive factor in breaking and steering especially in the wet.
Research has demonstrated that the braking distance from 50mph to standstill in wet conditions increases by more than the length of a full size shipping container (that’s 14 metres) when using worn tyres rather than new ones, which dramatically raises the chance of a collision. Previous research shows that very few drivers carry out routine tyre checks of any sort. You walk around your car every day so why not have a quick look down at your tyres as part of your normal routine – you never know it might prevent an accident – and remember the fixed penalty for illegal tyres stands at £100 and 3 points on your licence (per tyre). Look after your tyres and they will look after you.
Allan, Begin Driving