New survey highlights tyre maintenance dangers

Written by: Abaranji Sivakumar, Last updated:14th February 2023

The first phase of a new survey carried out by vehicle safety organisation TyreSafe has highlighted the potential dangers to UK motorists from an ongoing lack of tyre safety awareness.

Carried out in partnership with Highways England, the project has examined the state of the nation’s tyres at the point of replacement, with more than 100,000 car and light commercial vehicle tyres assessed as part of the scheme.

The results showed that approximately 27 per cent of all tyres examined exhibited less tread depth than the legal minimum (1.6 mm around the central circumference of the whole tyre), while nearly 40 per cent were deemed borderline passes (less than 2 mm in tread depth).

This means there are potentially ten million vehicles – around one in four – currently in operation across the country that may be causing a potential risk to safety, with top concerns being poor handling, unresponsive braking and even an increased risk of tyre failure (blowout).

Chairman of TyreSafe Stuart Jackson said: “The industry has been saying for many years that there is an issue with the consumer’s attitude towards tyre safety, as we see a worryingly high proportion of dangerous, defective and illegal tyres fitted to vehicles on a daily basis.

“What was needed was evidence to support that belief and the first phase of the TyreSafe survey provided that with confirmation that up to ten million illegal tyres could be on Britain’s roads in 2015 alone.”

He added that enhancing public understanding of the dangers posed by illegal tyres is therefore now essential.