Motorists at risk from worn tyres

AA research shows millions of motorists 'dicing with death'

Tyres are taken for granted by millions of motorists

Tyres are taken for granted by millions of motorists. One-third of men, and two-thirds of women, rely on garages for tyre advice

Research by the AA has revealed the alarming risks motorists are taking: two thirds of female drivers (65%), and one third of male (36%), put their lives at risk by running worn tyres – because they rely mainly on garages for information on when to change them.

The revelation was announced as its professional mobile tyre fitting service AA Tyres launched in April 2015. It covers most of England with distinctively liveried AA vans which are equipped to change tyres, repair punctures, or provide wheel balancing at a location of a customer’s choosing – whether that's at home or at work.

  • One third of men, and two thirds of women, rely on garages for tyre advice
  • Tyres are taken for granted by millions of motorists
  • AA Tyres launched in April 2015, enabling customers to book mobile tyre fitting

Taking tyres for granted?

The research further highlights how many motorists take tyres for granted, courting danger as they fail to check tyre pressures and tread depth.

AA Tyres’ director David Bruce confirms that millions of drivers ignore these safety issues: “Tyres aren’t ‘optional extras’ – the four small patches of rubber, each the size of your hand, are the only parts of the car that touch the road. If they’re worn, poorly inflated, or damaged, then you really are dicing with death.”

  • The maximum fine for driving with a defective tyre is £2,500 and 3 penalty points – and the penalty will apply for each tyre if there's more than one.

How can drivers avoid the risks?

AA Tyres’ cutting-edge mobile tyre fitting service allows customers to order replacements online, so they can retain complete control of their vehicle, and removes the stress of finding time for replacements.

Mr. Bruce said of the advantages: "AA Tyres brings the depot to the driver at a place of their choosing. It cuts an hour or more to just a few minutes. Customers place their order with AA Tyres online, arranging a time and place for the work to be carried out. Payment is taken securely online at the time of booking using the very latest SSL encryption – it’s that easy."

You can also check tyre availability; if your district isn't covered, you can claim discounts at Autocare and National Tyres.

Tyres: legal requirements

  • they must be compatible with others on the car and in good physical condition
  • they must be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure
  • tread depth must be above the legal minimum (for passenger cars this is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre, 3/4 of the tread and around the entire circumference)

AA Tyres is a joint business venture with the award-winning Event Tyres, pioneers in the mobile tyre fitting industry since 2003. Awarded an Auto Express award in 2013, they hold a five-star rating on Trust Pilot.

Your 8-point guide to safer tyres

  • replace tyres when the tread depth reaches 2mm (3mm for winter tyres) – stopping distances are greater as tread depth reduces, especially in wet weather
  • an information panel in the drivers’ door frame or fuel filler flap gives tyre pressure information – check your handbook for pressure details
  • check pressures at least fortnightly when the tyres are cold - learn more about checking tyre pressures 
  • have the same size and type of tyre supplied with the car – they must also be in good condition as a legal requirement
  • have the same brand and pattern of tyre on the same axle – different tyres may affect performance or road noise
  • the least worn tyres should be on the rear axle – newer tyres are less likely to puncture, and it’s harder to control a car with a deflated rear tyre
  • not carrying a serviceable spare might affect breakdown cover, so keep one handy
  • travelling to Europe? Some countries have different legal requirements – see AA's European driving advice

(28 September 2015)