Tread Carefully – How to check the tyres on your car for safety
When assessing the safety issues present on any vehicle, many drivers place a lot of attention on the engine, forgetting to check four of the most important parts of their cars… THE TYRES!
Tyre safety checks are not only important, but they are also a necessity. As the only part of the vehicle which makes contact with the road, tyres on a car act in a similar fashion to a runner’s running shoes. A runner would be wise to avoid using damaged or unsuitable shoes in order to remain injury-free and perform at their best. The tyres on a car are just as important to the driver as shoes are to the runner, only the margin for error is increased significantly when applied to a motor vehicle.
WORN TYRES – The Difference between Life & Death
Worn tyres can ultimately become the difference between life and death. The tread on a tyre is designed to help the tyre efficiently grip to the road surface beneath it. Once the tread has been damaged or worn down, the performance of the tyre will drop significantly, IMMEDIATELY! Driving in wet weather conditions or driving at high speeds will only add to the risk factor, making the upcoming winter months and recent storms an issue for ANY driver on the road.
Stopping Distance of a Vehicle
The stopping distance of a vehicle is heavily impacted by the quality of the tread amongst other impacting variables, such as human error or poor weather conditions. A car travelling at 30 MPH in the rain, will come to a stop around 26 metres away, once the brakes are applied. However, the same car, travelling at the same speed with worn or damaged tread, can take 45 metres to stop, while still adhering to the legal tread limit of 1.6mm.
Recommended time to replace Tyres
It is recommended to replace tyres before they are able to drop to the legal limit of 1.6mm, as they are a major safety concern and treads beneath this level could cost road users more than just the three penalty points and £2500 fine per tyre they will receive upon being caught using them. If you are concerned about your tyres and are unable to get them to a professional in the near future, it is possible to check the tread yourself. Simply perform the 20p test using the examples below.
Low Tread Tread Depth (tested with a 20p piece)
Part-Worn Tyre Tread Depth (tested with a 20p piece)
New Tyre Tread Depth (tested with a 20p piece)