Keeping Your Tires Safe
Your tyres are the contact path separating you from the road. Without sufficient tyre depth, accidents are more likely to occur.
The depth of your tyres is a legal issue which, if not followed through, can result in fines between £2,500 & £10,000 (£2,500 per insufficient tire), as well as the loss of your driving license.
Furthermore, insurance claims can be invalidated, meaning no money for repairs will be provided.
The Minimum Tyre Tread Depth
The law for the UK and Europe is as follows:
• Minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre
• This must be across the complete circumference of the tyre
The Recommended Tyre Tread Depth
• 3mm for a tyre replacement
Tests between the tyre depths reveal the following:
• 3mm depth tyres can prevent braking distance in wet weather by as much as 44%
• Less tread depth leads to a reduction of water shift, which can lead to a loss of grip
The conclusion is that a deeper tread in tyres improves grip and increases safety.
Checking for A Roadworthy Tyre
There are three ways to check the tyre’s tread depth:
The 20p Test
take a 20p coin, insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre, & look for the outer band on the coin. If you can, your tyres are below the legal limit, & should be seen by a professional mechanic. This test is sufficient to perform once a month.
Tyre Tread Wear Indicators
If a tyre is rife with these indicators, it’s below the legal limit & needs replacing. There are colour-coded tools available which help determine if a tyre is legal or not from sight.
Tyre Tread Depth Gauge
A purpose made tool which quickly & accurately measures the depth of an individual tyre groove.