By Denna Bowman
Tyre tread depth is more important than every as weather experts predict that Britain faces up to 10 years of dismally wet summers, warns TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation.
The bleak outlook has been forecast by the Met Office after a new weather pattern was identified in the North Atlantic.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, warned: “It looks like motorists had better get used to unusually damp summers for another 10 years which means that tyre safety should be given a higher priority than ever.
“The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to see if you have adequate tread depth just by using a 20p coin. Simply take the coin and insert it into the main grooves of the tyre. When it’s been inserted and if you can see the outer band of the 20p then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist.”
Adequate tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads as the tread pattern helps to displace water from the road surface. Drivers with insufficient tread depth face a number of hazards including longer stopping distances, less grip and more chance of aquaplaning.
Tests prove that in wet weather stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads, placing even greater importance on correct tyre maintenance.
Jackson added: “Driving in wet weather is particularly hazardous but a few simple precautions, such as regularly checking your tyres before heading off, and sensible driving including keeping well back from the vehicle in front, can help reduce the risk of an accident.”
UK legislation requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Those failing to adhere to these regulations face three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre.
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