Check tyre safety during wet weather

Check tyre safety during wet weather 28th February 2014

With wet weather having dire effects on cars' traction on the roads, drivers are being urged to check the safety of their tyres.

Non-profit road safety organisation TyreSafe has been urging road users to take what it calls the 20p Test, where drivers put the coin into the tread grooves of their tyres to check tread depth, in light of recent bad weather.

This winter has been noted as the wettest since records began according to the Met Office, which has made driving conditions more troublesome. Tyre tread is required to remove water from the road surface and help to grip the roads properly.

When drivers put their 20p coin in their tyre tread, should the outer band of the coin be visible then TyreSafe says it is likely to be under or close to the legal limit for tread depth. They are advised to check tread depth at least three different parts of the tyre.

Should car tyres fall below the legal limit, it is advised that the driver approaches an expert such as ATS Euromaster to have a new set fitted.

The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the three-quarters in the centre of the tyre and around its entire circumference. If tyres fail to meet legal standards, then the driver could receive three penalty points for each one that is under the limit and a fine of up to £2,500.

Chairman of TyreSafe Stuart Jackson said: "It’s no great surprise that this has been the wettest winter on record, but sadly many drivers are unaware that their tyres must be properly maintained and regularly inspected to ensure they remain safe and legal on the road.

“Insufficient tread depth could not only see you falling foul of the law, but it will also hamper your car’s ability to brake, accelerate and corner safely.”

Other important checks to ensure cars maintain grip on the road include checking tyre pressure as underinflated tyres can hinder both grip and handling.

Posted by Danielle Barge