UK motorists treading dangerously thin line when it comes to tyre safety

A third of UK drivers admit to have knowingly driven with their tyre treads at potentially dangerous levels, according to new research from Protyre and road safety charity, TyreSafe.

The shocking admission came from 33% of the UK motorists surveyed by Protyre – one of the UK’s largest tyre retailers – and TyreSafe as part of research commissioned into finding how much Britain’s road users know about their tyres.

When it comes to driving on dangerously worn tyres, the research found that younger drivers were the worst offenders with those under 35 three times more likely to take the risk than those aged 35 years or older.

As well as a third of drivers knowingly driving on tyres at dangerous levels, a similar proportion of those sampled also confessed to not checking their tyre tread in over six months.

Even more alarmingly around half of the motorists quizzed only got their tyre tread checked once a year, when their car went in for its annual service or MOT test.

Further startling findings to emerge from the research included 61% admitting to having no idea how often they should be putting air in their tyres and motorists only putting air into their tyres every five months, despite industry recommendations that drivers perform tyre checks each month.

Simon Hiorns, Protyre Retail Director, said: “It’s a quite shocking state of affairs to discover that a third of UK motorists are putting the lives of themselves and their passengers at risk by knowingly driving on tyres with potentially dangerous levels of tread.

“Tyres are the only part of the car in contact with the road’s surface and are the main factor between stopping in an emergency or having an accident.

“It’s extremely concerning that UK motorists are taking the decision to drive on dangerously worn tyres, failing to carry out adequate and regular checks and admitting to not knowing how much air they should be putting in their tyres.

“These are all completely unnecessary risks to take and we would urge motorists during October’s Tyre Safety month to think seriously about their tyres and take measures to change these shocking behaviours.”

Tyre Safety Month is organised and promoted by national tyre safety charity, TyreSafe, with 2018’s key message to motorists being ‘Tune into Tyre Safety’ and check your tyres once a month, every month.

By taking such simple steps motorists could avoid the £2,500 fine and three penalty points they could incur for having worn tyres. If all four tyres are worn below the legal limit, then motorists may face up to a £10,000 fine and potentially lose their licence.