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Wed, 05/30/2018 - 12:35 -- sdukbewiser

One in five British cars is fitted with ‘dangerous’ tyres, warns new study, is your vehicle at risk?

Wed, 30/05/2018
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One in five British cars is fitted with ‘dangerous’ tyres, warns new study, is your vehicle at risk?

Nearly 8 million vehicles have potentially dangerous tyres, and an additional 1.4 million vehicles have one illegal tread depth.

Rob Hull, The Mail Online, reports:

One in five cars on UK roads - accounting for more than eight million motors - have 'dangerous' tyres fitted to them, according to new research.

Comparison site Confused.com said it conducted 1,000 vehicle spot checks up and down the country and found that 21 per cent had at least one tyre that need to be replaced.

A further three per cent - representative of 1.4 million - were found to be running on illegal tyres that could land them with a fine in excess of £2,500 and three penalty points. 

Confused.com said it traipsed around 10 major UK cities, scrutinising car tyres and measuring the tread depth remaining in the rubber.

The fifth it deemed as 'dangerous' were those with a tyre with tread below 3mm, which is the point at which major manufacturers recommend having it changed.

Those deemed illegal were found to have less tread depth than the legal limit of 1.6mm.

What's more concerning is that three in five claim not to know if their tyres are illegal or not.

When the comparison site surveyed 2,000 motorists, 61 per cent didn't know the minimum tread depth required by law.

Even if drivers do know that their tyres are deemed legally unfit for the road, 55 per cent said they didn't know how to check if they were roadworthy or not.

Not only is this lack of knowledge worrying on a safety level, it also means many drivers are risking fines in excess of £2,500 per tyre if they're caught by police using balding rubber.

They could also receive three penalty points per illegal corner, which would could lead to a loss of licence and almost certainly drive insurance premiums higher.

It's also little known that if you are involved in an accident and it’s later revealed that you had bald tyres, your insurer could void your claim and invalidate your policy, as your car would be deemed unroadworthy – the same would apply if your car failed its MOT.

According to the latest data, tyre issues are the fourth most common reason for vehicles failing an MOT inspection, with 7.7 per cent of all vehicles last year failing for illegal tread depth or rubber that was deemed unfit for use.

The investigation also identified which cities it found the highest percentage of dangerous tyres.

Vehicles in Edinburgh had the highest number of cars fitted with tyres below the recommended tread of 3mm (27 per cent), while motorists in Newcastle and Ipswich had the highest rate of illegal tyres, both with an average of five per cent.

According to the research, London drivers are the most diligent with just 16 per cent of vehicles fitted with dangerous rubber, though motorists in Birmingham deserved a special mention after Confused.com found no cars in the midlands city with illegal tyres.  

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said it was 'worrying' to find so many vehicles fitted with potentially lethal tyres.

'Tyre tread ignorance could land offenders with fines of up to £2,500 per tyre, invalidate their insurance or lead to an accident,' she said.

'By conducting a few simple checks each month, such as the 20p test, 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.'

Ensuring your tyres are safe and within legal limits is the responsibility of the driver, and is paramount to ensuring the safety of other road users.

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