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Latest TyreSafe image shows “tyre maintenance madness”

The tyre, which was removed from a high-performance BMW 3-series, was so worn that none of its tread pattern remained, making it virtually useless in the wet. Furthermore, the wear was so great on one shoulder of the tyre that it had started to destroy the integrity of the tyre carcass, with potentially fatal high-speed consequences.

‘This particular tyre was an accident waiting to happen,’ exclaimed Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. ‘Adequate tread depth is essential all year round, but particularly important just now when we are experiencing so much rain and difficult driving conditions. Checking your tyre tread depth is very simple and only takes a few minutes. It really is something that all drivers should do at least once a month to stay safe and legal.’

Current UK law requires car drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread on their tyres across the central three-quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. Those found to be in breach of this law can face fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. In 2012 more than 170 drivers per week were successfully prosecuted in court for driving on defective tyres.

The tyre safety organisation adds that the warnings are particularly pertinent given the current wet conditions in the UK.

‘Sadly, the bad weather shows no sign of subsiding at the moment so it’s particularly important that drivers ensure their tyres can cope in these terrible conditions,’ added Jackson.

To help drivers quickly assess if their car tyres are safe and legal, TyreSafe recommends taking the 20p test. Drivers simply need to insert a 20p coin into the main grooves of a tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is visible when inserted into the groove, then the tread is probably too low and should be inspected immediately by a qualified tyre professional. 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.