A recent survey of the state of tyres on cars on our roads has revealed that one in six is running on tyres that are at or below the minimum legal tread depth. Carried out by Continental Tyres in conjunction with fuel retailer, Maxol, the survey covered tyre tread depth and whether the tyres were inflated to the correct air pressure.
16.7 percent or one in six cars were found to have a tyre at or below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm. Independent tests have shown that cars driving on tyres at the 1.6mm legal tread limit demonstrate a dangerous lack of control in cornering and seriously increased stopping distances on both dry and wet roads.
Commenting on the survey results, Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland said: “It was shocking to see that one in six cars surveyed were driving on dangerous and illegal tyres. We know that in the current economic climate, motorists have been cutting back on their motoring expenses and some may have been tempted to push their tyres to the limit. However, as your only contact with the road, tyres are such a critical element of your car’s overall performance, so our advice is don’t gamble with your family’s safety by neglecting your tyres”.
Continental recommends that the optimum time to replace tyres is when they reach 3mm. Independent tests have demonstrated that once tread depth drops below 3mm, tyre performance drops off sharply. It is for this reason that public service and emergency vehicles across Europe have their tyres changed once the tread depth reaches 3mm.