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Tread carefully Ė braking distance increases as tread wears out

Kwik Fit | Friday 8th August 2014 1:00pm

Worn tyre

Regardless as to whether you choose premium tyres or budget varieties, your tyre tread wonít last forever and factors including your driving style, wheel alignment and tyre pressure will determine how quickly your tyres become worn.

Most car and light commercial vehicle tyres begin life with 8mm of tread which should last for approximately 20,000 miles when fitted to the front axle. When your tyre tread reaches the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm itís time to get those tyres change, no choice about it. If you donít and you are pulled over by the police, you could face heavy fines and penalty points being placed on your licence. In serious circumstances such as an accident caused as a result of poorly maintained tyres the police may decide to prosecute.

Not only do you run the risk of getting into trouble with the law but you will also be putting the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users in danger. It is recommended that drivers change their tyres when the tread depth reaches 3mm. This isn't just to make sure you change your tyres before they reach the legal limit. No, in fact, recent research shows that your braking performance could decrease significantly once your tyre tread reaches a depth of 3mm, especially in wet weather conditions.

Living in Britain, we expect the odd torrential downpour from time to time but if you donít have at least 3mm of tread on your car tyres, you are far more likely to run into difficulty when braking and cornering in heavy rain. Aquaplaning occurs when the water between your tyres and the road surface cannot be displaced quickly enough resulting in your tyres losing contact with the road and the driver losing control of the vehicle. Adequate tyre tread is essential then to push aside excess water and grip the road.

So, the moral of the story is if you want to maintain optimum control over your vehicle, make sure you check your tyre tread regularly.

Donít leave it until itís too late, if you think your tyres are looking worn or you are in any doubt about the tread on your tyres, call into your nearest Kwik Fit and we will check them for free. Alternatively you can buy tyres online now from our huge range in stock.

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