By Denna Bowman
Drivers in East Anglia and the North West are among the most likely to be involved in tyres related car accidents, according to safety organisation TyreSafe.
The warning has been issued following research which revealed that nearly one in four drivers in these regions have never checked the tread depth on their tyres.
Drivers in Wales were the most responsible with more than four in ten claiming to have checked their tyre tread depth within the last month, the maximum period recommended between checks.
The Welsh motorists were closely followed by drivers in Scotland, where nearly four in ten drivers performed the checks.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Although drivers in East Anglia and the North West showed the greatest levels of neglect with regard to tyre safety, our survey revealed a shocking number of drivers across the country are failing to take adequate steps which could stop them from being involved in a car accident.
“Stopping distances in the wet are significantly increased if tyres do not have sufficient tread depth. Without regularly checking tread depth, the only time these drivers realise they are lacking grip may be as they are skidding out of control towards another vehicle.”
In addition to being more likely to be involved in an accident, drivers with illegal tread depth face fines of up to £2500 and three penalty points per tyre. Current UK law states that tyres must have a minimum of depth 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tread, around its entire circumference.
TyreSafe’s research also found that of those drivers who do check their tread depth, many were simply using guesswork to see if they were safe and legal.
More than one in five drivers stated that they just looked at tyres generally rather than using a tread depth gauge, taking the car to a garage or tyre dealer, or any other recommended method.
As part of October’s tyre safety month, TyreSafe is giving drivers advice on a quick and easy way to see if their tyres have safe and legal tread depth.
The organisations ‘lifesaver in your pocket’ campaign encourages drivers to insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of the tyre.
If the outer band of the coin cannot be seen when inserted into the tread, then the tyres have adequate tread depth. If the outer band is visible, then the tyres may not have enough tread to be considered safe and legal.