One in five cars driving on potentially dangerous tyres

feedback@motor1.com (James Fossdyke)
Tyre safety

Six in 10 drivers have no idea of the legal minimum tyre tread depth.

Do you know the rules on tyres tread depths? One in every five motorists is driving on tyres with less tread than the recommended minimum, according to the latest research.

An investigation by insurance comparison website Confused.com of more than 1,000 vehicles found that 21 percent of cars have tyres with less than the recommended minimum tread depth of 3mm. That’s the equivalent of more than six million vehicles on UK roads.

The investigation also discovered that three percent of cars are currently shod with tyres that have less tread than the legally required minimum of 1.6mm.

More tyre news:

Are you driving on dangerous tyres?The government wants to check your tyres while you're drivingEx-F1 driver David Coulthard thinks your tyres aren't safe

Further research also found that more than six in 10 drivers (61 percent) don't actually know the legal minimum tread depth, while more than half of motorists (55 percent) are even unsure of how to check their tyres.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, four percent of drivers have had an accident that was caused by defective tyres. As well as the obvious safety implications involved, people who are found by police to be driving with bald tyres on their cars run the risk of fines of up to £2,500 per tyre.

Amanda Stretton, who is motoring editor at Confused.com, said: ‘It’s worrying to find so many people are driving with bald tyres. 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, drivers can keep themselves and other motorists safe. Driving has become expensive enough as it is, and avoiding unwanted fines should be incentive enough to comply with road safety regulations.’