More than a third (37.2%) of drivers who called out the AA to fit new tyres were either driving with tread depths below the 1.6mm legal minimum (9.6%) – or were on the limit (27.6%), according to the latest data from the AA. The AA analysed thousands of call outs in 2016 to its team of specialist tyre fitters – providing a snapshot of the state of tyres on Britain’s roads.
The findings support new data from TyreSafe and Highways England showing that of 340,000 tyres measured across the industry, 66 per cent were below 2mm while 27 per cent were illegal.
The AA and TyreSafe advise that new tyres should be replaced when tread depth reaches 2mm (3mm in winter). Tyre pressures should be checked at least fortnightly, as well the general condition of the tyres, looking for cuts or bulges.
Mark Shankland, co-founder of the AA’s mobile tyre fitting service, AA Tyres, commented: “Our findings point to an alarming lack of concern about tyres by British drivers. With summer upon us, now is a good time to should check your tyres before heading off on a long trip and replace them if there is 2mm of tread or less remaining.
“The dangers of driving on bald or balding tyres are clear. Not only is the risk of a blow-out greater but stopping distances are significantly increased too, especially on a wet road. If there’s a sudden summer downpour there’s a high chance of aquaplaning on worn tyres which means you lose control of your car with perhaps unthinkable consequences.”