An investigation by insurance comparison website Confused.com of more than 1,000 vehicles found that 21% 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.
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.’