One in seven motorists could be driving too fast for the state of their vehicle’s tyres. Worn tyres, while legal, increase stopping distance dramatically, meaning drivers should be going at a slower speed to remain safe.
A recent study by Halfords investigated the number of vehicles presented with tyre advisory warnings at their garages. According to this research, millions of British motorists could be ‘speeding’ unknowingly due to their tyre tread depth.
Around 14% of motorists are said to be driving with hazardously worn or illegal tyres, equivalent to over 5 million vehicles. The data also highlights that three out of five dangerous defects spotted during MOTs are due to worn tyres.
The analysis, conducted alongside Cardiff University, found that when travelling at 60mph during winter road conditions, the legal tread depth of 1.6mm results in the same stopping distance as a vehicle moving at 68 mph with a ‘good’ tread depth of 4mm.
As new 20 mph speed limits hit roads in Wales, Halfords warns that drivers should be travelling at 18 mph if their tyres are worn. Graham Stapleton, CEO at Halfords, revealed that the study brought to light some concerning results and warned that motorists could be “unknowingly putting themselves in danger”.
He said: “We quite rightly see regular safety campaigns around drink driving, speeding, and the use of mobile phones whilst driving, and all are potentially very dangerous.
“But the importance of having safe tyres continues to be overlooked as a serious safety issue impacting every road user. It sounds simple, but your tyres are the only thing connecting your car – and therefore passengers – to the road.”