Results from a survey conducted by TyreSafe in partnership with Highways England show more than a quarter of all drivers had an illegal tyre at the time they were replaced.
The UK’s not-for-profit tyre safety organisation is urging all drivers to check their vehicle’s tyres, making sure they are not adding a substantial and avoidable risk to both themselves and other road users.
TyreSafe chairman, Stuart Jackson said: “As vehicles have become increasingly reliable, owners have become less used to performing what were once considered basic precautionary checks before setting off on a journey.
“Tyres too are much more technologically advanced but they do wear and can get damaged so it is down to the driver to regularly check they’re safe.
The findings come from the most comprehensive survey across Britain’s tyre industry to date, which collated data on the tread depth of tyres when they are replaced.
With the legal minimum at 1.6mm, tread depth plays a decisive factor in braking 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-sized shipping container when using worn tyres rather than new ones, which dramatically raises the chances of a collision.