Tyre Tip #1: Ignore Legal Tyre Tread Depth

Is Your Road Safety Worth 10 Cents Per Day?

For most of us, the car is part of our everyday lives. Just like our mobile phones, social media, eating, drinking and breathing. You top up and recharge your mobile. You check your social media. You make a list and shop for food and drink. And breathing? Well that’s a good habit that you do naturally.

When was the last time you checked your car? Specifically, your tyres? They are the only thing between you and the road. As you are reading this, can you be certain that your tyre tread depth is legal? Or safe?

What Difference Does Your Tyre Tread Depth Really Make?

Tests carried out by Continental Tyres show that braking distances lengthen faster as your tyre’s tread depth reduces. For example, at 85 kmph on a wet road:

  • The stopping ability of a tyre whose tread depth has reduced from 8mm to 3mm is reduced by 16%
  • The stopping ability of a tyre whose tread depth has reduced from 3mm to 1.6mm is reduced by a further 40%
  • A tyre with 1.6mm tread depth will take more than twice the distance to stop as a tyre with 8mm tread depth

Want to know what this really means?

  • With a tread depth of 3mm, it will take you around 2.5 metres further to stop
  • With a tread depth of 1.6mm, it will take you around 8.8 metres further to stop

Why Is the Legal Tread Depth 1.5mm?

Like most tyre manufacturers and other tyre experts, we recommend that you replace your tyres if your tread depth reduces to 3mm. Given the effect on braking distances, it makes sense. If so many recommend changing tyres at 3mm tread depth, the question is, why is the legal minimum only 1.5mm? It doesn’t make much sense.

70 Cents Per Week – The Cost of Changing Tyres 3mm

Continental Tyres didn’t only test braking distances. They assessed the cost of changing tyres at 3mm instead of 1.6mm. They considered average mileage and that tyres should last around 55,000 to 60,000 kilometres.

Continental has calculated that it would cost the average motorist only 70 cents per week to change tyres at a tread depth of 3mm instead of 1.6mm.

70 Cents Per Week for Safer Driving

Your safety on the road doesn’t only depend on braking distance. Deeper tread depth improves your grip on the road. On wet roads, the tread helps to expel water – and that reduces the risk of aquaplaning. On all roads, the extra grip created by extra tread depth provides better handling and safer cornering.

If you ask yourself one question today – as you check your social media after breakfast – it should be this: Is my life worth 10 cents today? You’ve probably got more than that in loose change in your pocket.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

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