How to check the tread on your tyres for safe motoring

The tyres of your car are a crucial component for safety as your tyres interpret all your driving controls to the road. Your tyres are the only contact you have between your vehicle and the road so play a critical role in steering, braking and therefore safety.

It is therefore essential to check your tyres regularly for any defects, general wear and tear; and to check the tyre tread depth. Having tread below the legal requirement can leave you in hot water; each bald or defective tyre can carry a fine of £2500 and 3 penalty points.

Legal tread depth for your tyres

The minimum tread depth on your tyres is 1.6mm, across the central ¾ of tread, around the full wheel. Although this is the legal limit, manufacturers recommend replacing tyres at 3mm of tread. New tyres start at a tread depth of around 8mm. Do not run the risk of crossing the legal limit, be safe rather than sorry!

Measuring your tyre tread depth

Tyres can be inspected very quickly and easily by looking at the wear indicators. Wear indicators are small markings within the tread pattern that once flush with the tread indicate new tyres are needed.

Tyre depth tread gauges provide a more accurate and reliable measurement. A common tool used to check depth at home is a 20p coin. The 20p coin can be put into the tread and if you can see the outer rim of the coin then your tyre tread is less than 3mm and should be checked ASAP at Premier Group.

Importance of tyre tread

With reduced tyre tread depth performance on the road is reduced. Research by MIRA found that stopping distances increased significantly once tread depth dipped below 3mm. At 1.6mm (the legal minimum), the distance it took the vehicles to stop increased by 44.6 per cent on smooth concrete and 36.8 per cent on hot rolled asphalt compared with a tread depth of 6.7mm.
The risk of aquaplaning is also increased with reduced tyre tread depth as the tyre is no long able to disperse the water on the road effectively. Aquaplaning can at best be frightening; but at its worst can contribute to significant car collisions.

Premier Group provides a wide range of tyres to suit all makes, models and budgets. If you want your tyres checked in the Cannock area then visit Premier Group to ensure you are driving a safe, roadworthy vehicle for peace of mind and to avoid potential fines and points.

Call Premier Group on Cannock (01543) 426378 for all your motoring needs including competitive prices on a wide range of tyres.

A tyre-ing fact…
During its life, the average tyre will rotate more than 26 million times. It could cover 30,000 miles which is more than once around the world. The circumference of the earth is 24,902 miles at the equator. (Continental Tyres 2006)