Earlier this year, TyreSafe conducted a survey of tyre treads when they were replaced and found that 27% were under legal limits. That would equate to 10 million cars on Britain’s roads driving with unsafe, dangerous tyres! In fact, a further 39% were within 0.4mm of the limit, that’s less than half the thickness of a bank card away from being non-roadworthy. There are more than enough reasons to keep yourself within guidelines as well, Government statistics claim there are over 3,600 tyre related incidents recorded on the country’s major roads and motorways every month.
In a bid to raise awareness of the risks October is tyre safety month in the UK and as part of the initiative TyreSafe are asking motorists when they last checked their tread. Winter is fast approaching and with the cold, wet and icy conditions the season brings, checking the state of your tyres should be an even greater priority than usual. Most people will have experienced the odd hairy moment when driving on slippery roads, and in some European countries it’s even a legal requirement to use specific tyres during the coldest months of the year. Whilst we’re lucky enough to have milder weather here, and no need for these regulations, when the snow does fall on our roads the impact of worn out rubber can be even greater as we’re often ill prepared.
So what do you need to know to make sure your vehicle is legal and safe?
- The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of your tyre and all around the circumference
- You don’t have to buy expensive equipment to check your tyres, all you need is a 20 pence piece. If the tread is more shallow that the rim of the coin then it needs replacing
- Millimetres mean metres! Travelling on wet roads with tyres at the 1.6mm limit can increase your stopping distance by more than 10m vs a new tyre when travelling at 50mph
- If the tyres are wearing unevenly or you can see any cuts or bulges you should have them checked by a professional
- Don’t forget to to check your tyre pressure is as advised in by your car’s manual
- To ensure compliance tyres should be checked at least once a month and before long journeys
- Being stopped with unsafe tyres can lead to a fine of £2,500 and 3 penalty points per wheel!
For more information check out the Tyre Safety Month website http://www.tyresafe.org/campaigns/tyre-safety-month-2015