In 2015, 14 people were killed and 112 people were seriously injured in road traffic accidents where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were deemed to be a contributory factor to the accident1.
Tyres are the vehicle's only point of contact with the road. The actual area of contact is small, roughly equivalent to four size eight men's shoes. Bald tyres - 'slicks' - may be fine for a race car on a dry track, but no good at all for road vehicles on a wet road surface. Tyres treads are designed to pump water from the road surface and provide maximum grip. By the time the tread is worn down to the legal limit they will be unable to perform this task efficiently and MUST be replaced.
RoSPA recommends that worn tyres are replaced with an equivalent new unit well before the legal minimum tread limit of 1.6mm is reached - ideally as soon as they reach 3mm.
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1GOV UK (2016) ‘Table RAS50001: Contributory Factors in Reported Accidents by Severity, Great Britain, 2016’