Winter tyre safety is the big issue of the moment.
Winter tyre safety is the big issue of the moment. After all, October to January are traditionally the wettest months of the year so the roads could become slippery at any moment. It is easy to forget that the only part of your car that clears rain water – and prevents it sliding-off the road – is its tyre tread. The legal minimum depth is 1.6mm across the central 75% of the tyre, and around its entire circumference. However, it is preferable to replace a tyre when its tread reaches 3mm. Performance beyond this point can be very poor – and there is no merit whatsoever in driving on less than perfect rubber.Stuart Jackson, Chairman of Tyresafe, explains: “Adequate tread depth is essential for grip in wet conditions. Drivers who fail to make sure their tyres have enough tread not only risk their own life but also that of other road users who may be involved in any subsequent tyre related accident. However, making sure your tyres are safe and legal only takes a few minutes and is now incredibly easy thanks to the 20p test.” Checking your tyre tread is very simple. Insert a 20 pence coin in the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible then the tyre may not have sufficient tread depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist. Handy tip there, but motorists can get more precise readings via manual tread depth gauges. These only cost a few pounds. Jackson concluded: “It was only two years ago that the UK had the wettest November since records began in 1914. By checking your tyres and making sure they have sufficient tread depth, drivers can be safe in the knowledge that they can still driver safely, no matter what the heavens throw at us this winter.”