More worringly, this problem seems to be getting worse: In 2009, when HiQ last carried out a tyre survey, ‘only’ 29% of motorist had one or more illegal tyres.
Driving on illegal tyres is not only highly dangerous, but can result in large fines and 3 points per tyre on your driving licence. HiQ has put together a 1-2-3 campaign to highlight the dangerous and encourage motorists to get their act together:
- One worn or defective tyre could cost you £2,500*
- Two tyre lengths could be added to your stopping distance at 50mph in wet conditions**
- Three points will be added to your license for each tyre with a tread depth less than 1.6mm***
Presumably, the tyre audit was carried out on all cars which came into HiQ branches to have work done – so there might naturally be a bias towards cars with worn tyres that are in need of replacement. However, you should not allow your tyres to become illegal before you replace them – if nothing else, it is really dangerous.
With winter coming, worn tyres will become even more dangerous, especially if we have snow and prolonged cold weather like we’ve had over the last couple of years. Worn summer (standard) tyres are virtually useless in snow and ice conditions – even if you do not want to consider winter tyres or all-season tyres, you should at least make sure that your car’s summer tyres are in good condition and have some tread left.