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More than 62 per cent of the UK’s drivers are unaware of the legal minimum tyre tread depth and one in ten (12 per cent) haven’t checked their tyres in the last year, according to new research carried out by leading used car website NFDA Trusted Dealers.
Despite the success of October’s fifth annual Tyre Safety Month, the research, which surveyed 1,000 motorists on how regularly they undertake essential tyre maintenance, showed little more than a third of the road users know that the minimum tyre tread depth should be 1.6mm. When equated to the 30m motorists on British roads this means more than 18m drivers have no idea if their tyres are roadworthy.
The survey also revealed a shocking 12.4 per cent of drivers last checked their tyre tread depth more than a year ago – even though fortnightly checks are advised to ensure safety and avoid potential fines of up to £2,500 plus three penalty points for illegal tyres.
According to figures released by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVLA), more than 2.2 million cars failed their MOT test last year due to the condition of their tyres. Whilst figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) showed that more than 968 UK road casualties in 2013 were caused because of illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.
Neil Addley, director of franchised dealer-owned used car website NFDA Trusted Dealers, said:
“It’s worrying that so many drivers are unaware of how to ensure their tyres are roadworthy, particularly when you consider the fact that these four pieces of rubber are the only things separating you from the road.
“As we approach the winter months, tread depth becomes even more important. Although 1.6mm is the minimum legal tread depth, we often advise investing in new tyres once the tread reaches 3mm to ensure safety. You can reduce stopping distance by more than a car length when breaking on tyres with a 3mm tread depth, rather than the legal minimum of 1.6mm. We’d always recommend drivers replace their tyres before they become fully worn.
“An easy way to safeguard against dangerous tyres is to remember to check tread depth and tyre pressure the first time you fill up with fuel each month. If you have any queries, concerns or if you’re simply looking for advice on your tyres then get in touch with your local franchised dealer, who will be able to help. You can also sign up at our website for a free ‘Tyre Tread Depth Checker’. This handy credit card-sized device can be kept in your purse or wallets to make sure you’re always reminded.”
NFDA Trusted Dealers recommends drivers undertake the following checks when filling their tank for the first time each month:
If you have any concerns about your tyres, your local franchised dealer will be able to help. Register for your free tyre tread depth checker at www.trusteddealers.co.uk