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‘Tired tyres’ putting 1.5 million at risk
More than 1.5 million UK drivers are dicing with death by driving on bald tyres, according to car insurance provider Swiftcover.
It’s published some worrying stats which reveal just how cavalier some of our fellow road users are when it comes to looking after those vital bands of rubber connecting car with road.
Rather worryingly, ignorance seems to be a big problem, with just 13% of drivers aware of the penalties for driving on defective tyres, and more than two-thirds admitting to having no idea what the minimum legal tread depth is. Meanwhile 36% of those surveyed owned up to never checking their tread depth at all.
It also seems that much maligned group of motorists – young drivers – are particularly bad at looking after their tyres according to Swiftcover, with 52% of under 24s surveyed never bothering to examine their tyre tread.
The regulations are simple: anything less than 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the tyre is illegal.
With a potential fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each offending tyre, waving goodbye to your driving licence and handing over a cheque for £10,000 is a very real possibility if you fall foul of the law on all four corners.
“It’s worrying that drivers are leaving themselves open to serious accidents as well as fines of up to £10,000 and disqualification by not checking their tyres for basic wear and tear. If you need a simple way to check your tread depth, use a 20p coin,” said Robin Reames, chief claims officer at Swiftcover.
“The border of a 20p coin is around 2.5mm wide so you can use one to make sure that your tyres are comfortably within the legal limit.”
Other danger signs to watch out for are bulges or lumps in the sidewalls, which could indicate partial failure of the tyre’s structure. Cuts or tears longer than 25mm or 10 per cent of the tyre’s width can also land drivers in hot water with the law – and their insurance companies who may void cover in the event of an accident.
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