By Denna Bowman
Vehicle owners planning a long journey have been advised to take a thorough look at their tyres by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
Around 10 per cent of cars on UK roads are being driven while at least one of their tyres has illegal tread depth, according to the IAM.
This causes reduced braking effectiveness, increased risk of collision and the risk of a fine and points on the driver’s licence.
Tim Shallcross, Head of Technical Advice for IAM, explains: “As tyres have only the area of the sole of your shoe in touch with the road at any one time, it’s a safety ‘no-brainer’ to keep them in top condition – extra care is needed in autumn when sudden heavy showers can profoundly affect tyre performance”.
Stopping distances double on wet roads and the risk of a skid can be trebled if the tread depth is only at the legal minimum of 1.6 mm – and this risk increases seven-fold when the tread depth is less than 0.5 mm, says the IAM.
The organisation warns motorists: “If you have to brake hard on one of the 10 per cent of road surfaces with below average skid resistance, the skid risk rises by around 50 per cent.”