By Denna Bowman
Motorists are being urged to check the tread depth on their tyres to ensure they stay safe on the roads as the UK enters the wettest four months of the year.
Normally, the UK experiences its highest monthly rainfall levels from October to January and drivers whose tyres do not have adequate tread depth face potentially fatal consequences warns TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, explained: “Adequate tread depth is essential for grip in wet conditions.
“Drivers who fail to make sure their tyres have enough tread not only risk their own life but also that of other road users who may be involved in any subsequent tyre related accident. However, making sure your tyres are safe and legal only takes a few minutes and is now incredibly easy thanks to the 20p test.”
To help drivers understand how to check their tyre tread depth, TyreSafe has released an online animation as part of tyre safety month, which shows drivers how to take the 20p test to see if their tyres are safe and legal.
To take the 20p test, drivers should insert a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist.
Full details of how to take the test can be found by visiting the TyreSafe website (www.tyresafe.org).
Jackson added: “It was only two years ago that the UK had the wettest November since records began in 1914. By checking your tyres and making sure they have sufficient tread depth, drivers can be safe in the knowledge that they can still driver safely, no matter what the heavens throw at us this winter.”
Current UK law requires drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference.
The tread grooves help to remove water from the road surface and maintain good levels of grip.
Drivers with insufficient tread depth face longer stopping distances, reduced grip and an increased risk of aquaplaning. They also face the possibility of three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre.