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Dated: 05 March 2009

Motorists gambling with low tread depth


Recent figures have shown a drop in both the new car market and tyre sales during 2008, raising concerns that some motorists may be tempted to put off changing their tyres due to the tough Economic Environment.

Paddy Murphy of Continental Tyres Ireland warns that  “It is clear that many motorists have opted to hold onto their cars for perhaps an extra year or two...doing the same with their tyres is a recipe for disaster. During the winter months in particular, when roads are likely to be wet or icy, running below 3mm of tread depth leaves motorists open to a greater risk of aquaplaning and longer braking distances.”

Of particular worry is those motorists who are used to changing their cars every other year as “Those motorists are not necessarily in the habit of replacing worn or unroadworthy tyres. If they have only been doing low mileage, they may be unaware of the effects of low tread depth.”

As a rough guide, with an average annual mileage of 15,000km over a 2 year period, a tyre may show signs of wear and tear and reduced tread depth, which will affect a car’s handling, and stopping distance, particular on wet roads.  With longer service intervals, less and less motorists are being warned by mechanics of the risk of tyre wear, and this combined with a lack of consumer awareness of the dangers of driving on worn tyres is leading to some motorists pushing their tyres to the limit. Tyres are a car’s only contact with the road and as such, we neglect them at our peril,” said Murphy. “We would strongly urge motorists not to risk ‘running on red’ with their tyres.”

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