Drivers failing to replace tyres are putting their own lives, and those of others in danger say TyreSafe.
The warning has been issued after TyreSafe received shocking images from one independent tyre dealer who was astonished by the state of one customer’s tyres.
The tyre shown was removed from a BMW 3-series. No tread pattern remained and on one shoulder of the tyre it had started to destroy the integrity of the carcass, with potentially fatal high speed consequences.
“This tyre was an accident waiting to happen,” exclaimed Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Adequate tread depth is essential all year round, but particularly important when we are experiencing so much rain and difficult driving conditions.”
Current UK law requires car drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread on their tyres across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. Those found to be in breach of this law can face fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. In 2012 more than 170 drivers per week were successfully prosecuted in court for driving on defective tyres.
Illegal tyres greatly reduce safety, especially in wet conditions. The tyre’s tread grooves help to evacuate water from the road surface, enabling the tyre to grip the road properly so that the vehicle can brake, steer and accelerate safely.
To help drivers quickly assess if their car tyres are safe and legal, TyreSafe recommends taking the 20p test. Drivers simply need to insert a 20p coin into the main grooves of a tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is visible when inserted into the groove, then the tread is probably too low and should be inspected immediately by a qualified tyre professional.