When you try on a new dress or check out your latest haircut, you wouldn’t dream of not inspecting it from all angles – the same principle should apply when checking your tyre tread depths!
It is vital that motorists get into the habit of regularly checking your tyre tread depths to ensure you stay safe and legal on the roads, and if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly, which, in this case, means checking the whole tyre, not just out the central band and outside edge.
This was recently highlighted by etyres Newport when they posted a photo of their weeks ‘Hall of Shame’ – just a handful of the dangerous and illegal tyres they replaced in the space of a few days. As the above photo shows, some of the tyres might have appeared legal when viewed from the kerbside, when just the outside edge was clear to see.
However, in some cases, the inside edge was worn down to the chords, making the tyres not only illegal, but also highly dangerous!
This is why etyres advise customers to turn the steering on a full lock in each direction when checking their tyre tread depths in order to inspect the condition of the inside edge of the front tyres, as this can often wear faster than the outer edge, especially if your tyres are not balanced correctly or the tracking is out.
The problem can be hard to see when the wheel is straight, but ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law and if you are caught driving on tyres which are illegal, even if the bald patch is only on the inside, you still face a hefty fine of up to £2,500 and three points on your driving licence – and that is per illegal tyre.
The minimum legal tread depth limit in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three quarters and around the entire circumference not a tyre. To discover if your tyres are illegal, look for the Tread Wear Indicators (TWIs), which appear as small raised bars set between the tyre groove. If the surface of the rubber is level with these bumps it is likely your tyre is close to the legal limit. Check each tyre at several locations around the circumference, as well as on the inside and outside edges, to get an accurate picture.
Denna Bowman, Head Office