Extreme weather highlights need for tyre safety


TyreSafe is advising motorists to make tyre safety a higher priority than ever with weather data suggesting that the frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing.

The analysis from the National Climate Information Centre, the UK’s official climate record, shows that the days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Met Office has also just announced that the dismally wet 2012 was the second wettest year on record.

Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “Adequate tread depth is essential for safe driving, especially in wet weather which seems to be increasingly commonplace.

“Tyres that do not have enough tread pose a significant danger to the driver, passengers and other road users, so they should be checked regularly to make sure they are safe and legal.”

Adequate tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads as the tread pattern displaces the water from the road surface. Drivers with insufficient tread depth face a number of hazards including longer stopping distances, less grip and more chance of aquaplaning.

UK legislation requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Those failing to adhere to these regulations face three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre. However, checking a tyre’s tread depth is straightforward and simple and can even be done by using a 20p coin.

Drivers simply need to insert the coin into the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the 20p is visible when inserted, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist.

At the same time, it is also sensible to carry out a visual inspection of the tyre to check its overall condition. Any objects which have become embedded in the tread should be removed. If any cuts, lumps or bulges are found, drivers should get a professional to check the tyres immediately.

“If extreme weather and heavy rainfall is set to become more of an everyday occurrence, then motorists need to make sure that they are prepared for these conditions by looking after their tyres,” added Jackson.

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