A new report reveals UK’s poor attitude towards tyre safety as 27 per cent of tyres are already dangerous at replacement

Illegal tyres are the largest single contributing factor in accidents resulting in casualties.

Over one-in-four of the 37 million cars and LCVs on UK 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 discoveries were revealed following a Tyre Safe survey conducted alongside Highways England which studied 340,000 tyres as they were replaced at over 800 outlets across the UK.

The report shows that tread depth has a “decisive impact” on the distance a vehicle takes to stop in the wet, and must be of at least the minimum legal limit, 1.6mm.

Braking distance

Former studies have revealed that the braking distance of a vehicle with tread of 1.6mm is nearly 12m longer than a vehicle with new tyres when braking in the wet from 50mph.

Stuart Jackson, of Tyre Safe, said: “Figures from the Department for Transport show that dangerous tyres are the biggest single contributory factor in accidents which result in casualties of any vehicle defect – including brakes.

“If the volume of casualties from tyre-related incidents is to be reduced on our roads, the UK’s drivers need to change their attitude to this primary safety feature and perform regular checks to ensure their vehicle’s tyres are roadworthy.

“The worry comes not just from the number of illegal tyres at the point of replacement, but also the number which were below 2mm – those with just 0.4mm left (half the thickness of a credit card) before reaching the 1.6mm legal minimum.

“While a tyre is considered legal at this point, the amount of distance it can cover and remain within the law is hard to predict and can only be verified by regular checks.”

The average proportion of illegal tyres at the time of replacement across the UK was 27.3 per cent but differences between the four home nations were also highlighted with Wales and Northern Ireland recording a higher proportion of illegal tyres.

Scotland’s figures were on par with the UK average while England recorded the lowest proportion at 26.8 per cent.

The discoveries have also revealed that 70.4 per cent of tyres were illegal and below 2mm at the point of replacement, an increase of 4.4 per cent compared to last year’s tread depth survey.

If you are concerned about your tyres don’t hesitate to poop down to AMS and let us take a look, or contact us on 01934 824551 to book your vehicle in for a check up.