More than 10 million UK motorists could drive a vehicle with an illegal and dangerous tyre during 2016, according to new research.
The survey of Survey of some 340,000 replaced tyres by TyreSafe in partnership with Highways England at 819 retail outlets revealed that more than 27% of tyres were already illegal when they were replaced.
That could equate to more than one in four of the 37 million cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) on the UK’s roads being driven with a tyre that could cost its driver a £2,500 fine and three penalty points, an MoT failure – or worse.
Tread depth has a decisive impact on the amount of distance a vehicle takes to stop in the wet, and must be of at least the minimum legal limit (1.6mm).
Previous studies have proven that the braking distance of a vehicle with tread of 1.6mm is nearly 12m further than a vehicle with new tyres when braking in the wet from 50mph.
Tyres cause more accidents resulting in casualties than any other vehicle defect, including brakes.
Motorists can help reduce the risks to themselves and other road users by carrying out tyre checks every month and before long journeys.
The air pressure in each tyre should follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended settings.
Tread depth should be over the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm, roughly the same as the rim of a 20p piece which can be used as a guide by inserting into the tyre’s tread.
If the rim is visible, the tyre may be illegal and the assistance of a tyre professional should be sought. While checking tread depth, also look out for any lumps, bumps, signs of ageing or scuffing on the tyre which may indicate internal damage.