More than one-in-four of the 37 million cars and LCVs on our roads is being driven with an illegal tyre that could cost its driver a £2,500 fine and three penalty points, an MOT failure, or worse.
The findings were revealed following a Tyre Safe survey conducted in partnership with Highways England which studied 340,000 tyres as they were replaced at 819 outlets across the country.
The report highlights that 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 shown, 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.
Stuart Jackson, Tyre Safe chairman, said: “Figures from the Department for Transport show that dangerous tyres are the largest single contributory factor in accidents resulting in casualties of any vehicle defect, including brakes.
“If the number of casualties from tyre-related incidents is to be reduced on our roads, the UK’s motorists need to change their attitude to this primary safety feature and carry out regular checks to ensure their vehicle’s tyres are roadworthy.
“The concern comes not just from the number of illegal tyres at the point of replacement, but also the proportion which were below 2mm, those with just 0.4mm left (half the thickness of a bank card) before reaching the 1.6mm legal minimum.
“While a tyre is legal at this point, the amount of distance it can cover and remain within the law is difficult to predict and can only be verified by regular checks.”
At Powells we offer free tyre checks so if you have any concerns about the legality of your tyres simply call in and we will do the check there and then.