Tyre safety increasingly ignored

The manager of a tyre and vehicle maintenance centre in Manchester, is urging motorists to pay closer attention to their tyres – warning that the number of illegal tyres in circulation on local roads is posing a grave risk to safety.

Paul Duff says that nearly 90 per cent of the tyres his team have replaced this year have had less than 1.6mm of tread remaining – meaning they were illegal when customers drove onto the forecourt.

“Tyre safety has got a lot worse in this area over the last five years,” he says. “Last week a motorist came in with a vibration fault on a family car and we traced the problem to three illegal tyres. The steel cords were showing where the rubber had worn away, but when we pointed it out, she wasn’t interested in replacing them. I wish I could say it was an isolated incident, but it’s become commonplace.”

Paul warns that if the steel cords are visible, a tyre risks losing its structure with every rotation. “As the only part of a vehicle in contact with the road’s surface, it’s a ticking time bomb waiting to go off,” he says. With the May half-term getaway fast approaching, Paul and his team are urging owners to spend a few minutes now, checking their tyres carefully, before making long journeys with their family.

To prolong the life of your tyres, make sure you ask for a 4-wheel alignment check at an AAA Centre. Professional 4 wheel alignment improves tyre life, fuel economy and safety plus is an ideal chance for a skilled technician to check for any other damage caused by the poor state of the UK’s roads.