Tyre treads are designed to give good grip on wet roads but this generally decreases as a tyre’s tread pattern wears down or as the depth of water increases. Drivers should take this into consideration and reduce their speed accordingly in wet conditions.
The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around its entire outer circumference.
In wet weather, tyre tread grooves help to move water from the contact patch between your tyres and the road surface meaning your car can break, steer and accelerate properly.
Without adequate tread depth, your tyres may not be able to perform properly in wet conditions, reducing your safety on the road. It is therefore advisable to consider replacing your tyres well before they reach the legal minimum.
Furthermore, drivers whose tyres fail to comply with the minimum tread depth requirements risk a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
Correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour/ They are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, especially on high-speed motorway journeys.
By keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure, your running costs are also reduced. Under-inflated tyres require a bigger force to make them turn, so your car uses more fuel. Additionally, tyres which are not set to their correct pressure wear out more quickly.
So, to benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tyre life, increased safety and reduced Co2 emissions, make sure you check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before a long journey.