Tyre Wear Legal Limits

However, driving with dangerous or faulty tyres also carries the risk of a fine of up to £2,500 and three points on their licence. If the tire is flush with these, it is below the legal limit and must be replaced. Tire treads are designed to provide good grip on wet roads, but wet grip usually decreases as tread depth approaches the legal minimum. Motorists should take this into account and reduce speed when driving in the wet. For the same reason, motorists may consider replacing tires before the tread depth reaches the legal minimum. Each of these grooves provides grip on the road surface, allowing you to brake and maneuver safely. As tread depth decreases, a tire`s performance deteriorates, making it difficult to transfer traction efficiently to the road. Leave your tires excessively worn and you run the risk of having longer braking distances and less control. “Performing basic but necessary tyre testing can mitigate many potential problems for drivers.

This could include anything from avoiding delays and additional costs to cases of dangerous injuries. At TOTD, we recommend that you check your tires every few weeks and especially before long trips to minimize the risk of tire accidents. One of the easiest ways to check tire tread is to use a tread depth gauge that measures the inside and outside of your tread. If you don`t have them, they`re not too expensive to buy and are available in many auto centers. The most accurate way to check your tire`s tread is to use a specially designed tool called the tire tread depth gauge. Tyres On The Drive technicians use it to quickly and accurately measure the depth of a single tire groove. Many of these handy gadgets also allow you to check the car`s tire pressure. If you have one handy, simply insert the probe rod into the groove and then press your shoulders flush with the tread. While the typical life of a tire varies depending on the factors mentioned above, it is generally advisable to order a replacement tire once the depth reaches 3mm (RoSPA has found that this is the point at which braking distance increases significantly).

Similar research suggests that overpumping or underpumping a tire reduces traction between the rubber and the road, resulting in increased tread wear and longer braking distances. In situations where your tires do not have sufficient tread depth to properly remove water from the road surface, the particularly dangerous phenomenon of aquaplaning can occur. During aquaplaning, your tires lose contact with the road surface and roll over the surface of the water. Without contact with the road, you cannot accelerate, brake or steer effectively, which greatly increases the risk of being involved in an accident. To reduce the risk of aquaplaning, regularly check the tread depth of your tire. See how aquaplaning can affect your safety. Tests carried out by the British technical organisation MIRA have shown that the braking distance increases considerably as soon as the tyres are less than 3 mm. A tire tread check begins with a thorough visual inspection.

Start by turning the steering wheel to see the entire surface of the tread. They look for signs of irregular wear that could affect one area of the tread more than another. If the tires wear evenly, you need to determine if you have enough tread on your tire. Book a free tire check A quick visual check of your tread depth can be done by simply looking at the wear indicators you find in the grooves of the tread pattern. However, a more accurate and reliable way is to use a depth gauge. It is small enough to fit in the glove compartment and gives an accurate measurement of the tread depth of your tires. Use a profile depth gauge – a tool that gives you a quick and easy-to-read measurement. That`s per tyre, so four illegal tyres could mean a £10,000 fine and 12 penalty points. Another easy way to measure tread depth.

You can use the 20p test quick and easy. Insert a 20p part into the lowest tread depth of your tires. If you can`t see the outer edge around the edge of the part, your tire is safe and has a tread depth of at least 3mm. If you can see the rim, your tread is less than 3mm and should be checked by a professional. You may not know it, but tire manufacturers add tread wear indicators that are molded into the tread grooves. This is a way to indicate if a tire has worn beyond the minimum safety limit. They`re really easy to use – if you can see them, you`ll need to replace your tires. The marks on the sidewall of the tire will help you find them. Used tyres are not only a serious safety risk, but also costly. In the UK alone, driving with worn tyres can result in a fine of £2,500 plus three points on your licence.

What makes it even more serious is that you risk losing your driving licence and facing a £10,000 fine if your entire tread is below the legal limit. Checking the tread and general condition of your tires is extremely important and should be done at least once a month. Tread wear indicators (TWIs) are projections inside the tread grooves that are intended to give a visual indication of the degree of tread wear. Just take a 20p piece and stick it into the grooves of the tire`s tread. It is important that the rim and tyre dimensions comply with the tyre manufacturer`s recommendations and that the assembly is approved equipment for the vehicle concerned. There are also special considerations for driving in hot weather. As summer approaches and your tires are nearing the end of their life, know that they wear out faster on hot roads. Driving with tires with a profile below the legal limit is clearly dangerous, not only for you, but also for your occupants and other road users. If you are involved in an accident and your tread is below the legal level, any subsequent insurance claims may be voided.

This means that your insurance company may very well refuse to pay for repairs to your vehicle or an injury claim. Car tyre repairs can only be carried out by a tyre specialist and in accordance with the UK standard AU159 in force. Permanent repairs can only be done after the tire has been removed from the wheel to allow for thorough inspection both inside and outside to ensure there is no hidden damage that could lead to catastrophic failure. Temporary-use spare tires are often different in size than standard road tires and usage restrictions apply. Failure to follow the instructions in the vehicle manual and/or on the spare wheel or tire sidewall can have serious consequences. Do not exceed the recommended speed limit when using a spare tire for temporary use and respect the minimum air pressure. You`ll often hear people talk about the “20p test.” This is the fastest and easiest way to check the tread depth of your tire, but also the least accurate. If you cannot see the outer strip on the part, your tires will be above the legal limit. Many cars are now equipped with a temporary breakdown repair kit instead of a spare tire. Check the owner`s manual and remember that this is only a temporary repair, not a permanent one. “If your vehicle loses grip or misbehaves properly in adverse weather conditions, you should see a tire specialist as soon as possible.” Without sufficient tread depth, your tires may not function properly in wet conditions, reducing your safety on the road.

It is therefore advisable to consider replacing your tires well before they reach the legal minimum. In addition, drivers whose tyres do not meet the minimum tread depth requirements face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. Interestingly, independent research conducted by MIRA has shown that tires with 3mm tread perform on average 25% better than tires with 1.6mm. To give you an idea of what exactly this means, this indicates an additional 8 meters stopping distance in wet conditions! The fact is that the difference in wet braking distance between worn 3mm and 1.6mm tyres can be as much as 44%. This can save lives in many cases. The tread depth must be greater than 1.6 mm to be legal. This must be the case for three-quarters of the middle of the tyre. The legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm on a continuous tread that covers the central three-quarters of the tread width and bypasses its entire circumference. For more information on tires, read our complete guide to buying tires or our complete guide to tire safety and maintenance. No. Neither repairs to externally applied caps nor liquid sealants can be considered permanent repairs. Tyre manufacturers cannot be held responsible for problems arising from their use.

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