TIM DREW: Make sure your tyres are safe this month

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

October is National Tyre Safety Month and Tyresafe, which is one of the UK’s leading tyre safety organisations, is focusing this year’s campaign on the need to carry out monthly checks to make sure that your tyres comply with legal requirements.

The results of a survey, conducted by TyreSafe, of tyre tread depths at the point of replacement (which involved the examination of over 340,000 tyres by over 800 retailers across the UK) showed that more than 27 per cent of motorists were replacing their tyres when their tread depth was already below the legal limit.

That equates to potentially nearly ten million illegal and dangerous tyres on Britain’s roads in 2016 – so one in four vehicles could have an illegal and dangerous tyre.

A previous survey showed that one in five motorists had never checked their tyres.

Tread depth has a decisive influence on the way your vehicle accelerates, brakes and corners, especially in bad weather conditions.

Safe tyres with legal tread depth will reduce the risks all round, whereas driving on tyres with illegal tread depth not only reduces safety on the road but also risks a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.

The legal tread depth limit for car tyres is 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre, and many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacement at 3mm.

At 1.6mm in wet weather, it would take two car lengths (8m) longer to stop at 50mph than if your tread depth were 3mm.

For motorcycles of over 50ccm, the legal tread depth limit is 1mm and, for those up to 50cc, the law requires that all the grooves of the original tread pattern must be clearly visible.

To find tyre dealers in the area who are participating in the campaign, visit www.tyresafe.org

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