Research from Kwik Fit reveals that 3.6 million motorists wait until MOT failure before changing their tyres.
Kwik Fit warns that not only can illegal tyres leave motorists risking three penalty points and £2,500 in fines, but even more importantly, can seriously compromise their vehicle’s safety and handling. With the end of summer approaching and the weather turning colder and wetter, drivers should think carefully about their tyre health and not leave it until the MOT for them to be checked.
The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on car tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. However, tyre performance deteriorates well before reaching this limit – at 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes almost 40 per cent further to stop at 50 mph than it does at 7mm. This is equivalent to 8 car lengths of reduced stopping distance.
A spokesman for Kwik Fit said: “With vehicles being increasingly sophisticated in monitoring their own maintenance intervals, drivers are often leaving it to their cars to warn them of potential issues. Motorists should realise that responsibility for vehicle health and safety lies directly in their hands. Without proper care, motorists could land themselves either in legal trouble or in an incident on the road.
“Tyres should be the number one priority for drivers – after all, they are the only part of a car which keeps it on the road. Even though at 1.6 millimetres of tread a tyre is legal, it will not have much grip on the road and travelling in adverse weather conditions can be treacherous. That’s why leading tyre manufacturers recommend that drivers change their tyres at 3mm of tread depth to maintain optimum performance. It’s very worrying that so many drivers let their tread depth drop so low and leave it to the MOT to check – after all that could be up to a year away.”
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