How To Check Whether Your Tyres Are Safe
TyreSafe has released a new video highlighting the increased risk of aquaplaning in a car with tyres that are worn but still legal.
Aquaplaning is a phenomenon on wet roads whereby tyres lose contact with the tarmac. This stops the car steering, braking and accelerating effectively. TyreSafe’s video shows two identical cars with the same type of tyre. One set is new, the other heavily worn but legal. The cars then drive on a wet stretch of road. The vehicle with new tyres can be steered whereas the second car – despite the driver vigorously turning the wheel – cannot. This is because there is not enough tread depth to clear the water, so the car floats on its surface. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxuYOI_uruU
TyreSafe Chairman Stuart Jackson says: “Our latest movie and animation illustrate perfectly why it’s so important to regularly check your tyre tread depth at this time of year.
“Not only are braking, cornering and acceleration all affected by low tread depth - but in heavy rain there’s a real risk of aquaplaning which could cause you to lose control of your vehicle placing yourself, your passengers, and other road users at an increased risk.”
How to tell if your tyres have sufficient tread
Motorists can minimise the risk of aquaplaning by ensuring tyres have enough tread depth. The legal minimum is 1.6mm across the central 75% of the pattern and around the tyre's circumference. Check via a depth gauge or by inserting a 20p coin. If the outer rim of the coin is obscured, the tyre is within the legal minimum. That is not to say – on a used but legal tyre – that its performance is comparable to a new equivalent.