A new survey has revealed that 69 per cent of motorists don’t know the correct legal tyre tread depth limit of 1.6mm*.
This could leave drivers, their passengers and other road users at risk if they cause an accident. With tyre problems still accounting for 40 per cent of fatal or serious injuries caused by vehicle incidents, Venson Automotive Solutions – which carried out the poll – is reminding motorists to be aware of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres.
Of those surveyed by Venson, those aged 25 to 54 are most likely to be aware of the correct tyre tread depth.
However 31 per cent, of all those surveyed they don’t bother to check the depth and rely on their annual MOT to uncover any cause for concern. Women (38 per cent) are more likely to rely on the MOT than men (25 per cent). A further 31 per cent said they check their tyres every six months or so, but seven per cent only check their tyre tread before a long car journey. The conscientious are in the minority, with just 4% of people surveyed saying they check their tyre tread once a week.
Tyre pressure checks are equally overlooked with 44 per cent saying they only check before going on a long journey. Encouragingly, nearly one in four do check tyre pressures roughly once a month, but 12 per cent rely on their vehicle being serviced to have the pressure checked.
Gil Kelly, operations director, Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Every car owner has a duty to take a proactive role in ensuring they check their tyres on a regular basis, including the spare. Relying on an annual MOT test - or worse a service that typically comes around every 18 months – is leaving the safety of the vehicle to fate. We should all conduct standard tread and pressure inspections, ideally weekly but at the very least monthly, to reduce the risk of breakdowns and accidents, as well as hefty fines and points on our licence if we go below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm.
“As well as checking tyre tread and pressure, it’s also important to ensure the correct tyres are fitted for every type of vehicle and use. For example, a manufacturer may sell a vehicle equipped with a standard road tyre, but if the vehicle is being used in a specific environment, such as off road, the tyres will need to be changed. With a few simple, regular, checks, drivers can avoid the risks and make the UK’s roads a safer place.”