A new campaign has been launched on the back of figures suggesting that more than one in five UK motorists are driving on ‘dangerous tyres’.
The investigation, carried out by Confused.com, involved spot checks of more than 1,000 vehicles in 10 cities across the UK.
21% of vehicles tested – the equivalent of 8m motorists if the findings were replicated across the UK – had at least one tyre with tread below 3mm, the point at which manufacturers recommend a tyre is replaced.
3% – the equivalent of 1.4m motorists – were found to have at least one illegal tyre, falling below the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm.
Of the cities involved in the spot checks, Edinburgh had the highest number of cars with at least one tyre below the recommended tread of 3mm (27%), while Newcastle and Ipswich had the highest proportion of vehicles with at least one illegal tyre (both 5%).
Further research by Confused.com suggests almost one in 20 (4%) of UK drivers have had an accident due to defective tyres.
The price comparison website also found that 61% of motorists don’t know what the minimum legal tread depth is, while 55% don’t know how to check their tyres.
To highlight the potential consequences of driving on bald tyres, Confused.com has launched ‘Bald is Dangerous’ (featured), a tongue-in-cheek video.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “It’s worrying to find so many people are driving with baldies. Even though our safety film is tongue-in-cheek, our research shows there is a serious lack of awareness among some motorists.
“Tyre tread ignorance could land offenders with fines of up to £2,500 per tyre, invalidate their insurance or lead to an accident.
“By conducting a few simple checks each month, such as the 20p test, drivers can keep themselves and other motorists safe.”