FOUR in ten UK drivers admit they don’t check their tires enough – and that risks life on the road, experts warn.
Motorists can be penalized with 12 points, a fine of £ 2,500 per tire and even a ban on driving if their car is not ready to drive.
However, a survey of 2,000 drivers found that one in ten (12 percent) never checked their tires, while a quarter (27 percent) didn’t know when they last checked them.
As a result, nearly a fifth (18 percent) admitted they couldn’t tell whether their tires were road legal or not.
In the UK, all road legal cars must have a tire tread depth of at least 1.6mm.
While the braking distance and vehicle control decrease with increasing tire wear, they are particularly dangerous below that as they are significantly impaired.
However, only 27 percent of the drivers surveyed by Continental Tires correctly stated 1.6 mm as the legal minimum tread depth in Great Britain.
One in 50 of the motorists questioned, which corresponds to more than 600,000 motorists, was of the opinion that the legal profile is only 1 mm.
Peter Robb of Continental Tires, who commissioned the study to kick off Road Safety Week, says, “It’s important that your car is in a safe condition, and that requires regular maintenance checks – especially with an easy-to-use one Tasks like the condition of your tires.
“Driving around with worn tires can be not only dangerous but also costly.
“Tires are the essential link between your vehicle and the ground, as the tread grips the road while you are driving, and if there is not enough tread, your car will lose traction and your braking distance will be longer.
“A reduced tread depth makes it difficult to control the vehicle in wet weather and the likelihood of aquaplaning increases, which endangers life inside and outside the vehicle.”
Worryingly, almost a third (29 percent) of the drivers surveyed did not know the correct tire pressure for their vehicle.
And while all cars sold in the UK after 2014 are required by law to have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to warn drivers of low pressure, they don’t always pay attention to it.
The survey conducted by OnePoll found that nearly four in ten (37 percent) would not look at the tire immediately when the TMPS light came on.
But even with a brand new tire, something as tiny as a nail or a piece of glass can cause damage in no time at all, while breakdowns larger than 5mm in diameter can lead to rapid loss of air pressure and a flat tire.
To counteract this, Continental Tires has developed ContiSeal – a sticky, viscous layer of sealant inside the tire that, according to the brand, allows you to continue your journey without changing to a spare tire or breakdown assistance.
Pete Robb of Continental Tires added, “As the days get shorter and the weather more unpredictable, it’s critical that your tires are in running order.
“You should regularly use a tire tread depth gauge or just do the 20p tire test and also watch out for excessive shoulder wear which can indicate misalignment or other problems with your vehicle.
“Also, watch out for bulges in the sidewall as this can indicate internal tire damage and your tires may not be safe.
“And if your car does not have a tire pressure monitoring system, we recommend that you buy a tire pressure gauge and carry out regular checks.”