Hardly anything must be as resistant as car tyres
Your tyres form the essential bond between your vehicle and the ground. The tread grips the road as you drive. But if it's not deep enough, your car loses traction and suffers extended braking times. Shallow tread grooves make it harder to control the vehicle in wet weather and the chance of aquaplaning increases, thus increases the risk of a serious accident. To ensure your safety, measure the tread depth and the tyre pressure as part of your regular vehicle maintenance.
Tread is the rubber on the tyre in contact with the road. As you drive, the tread will wear down. A tyre with a tread depth below 1.6mm lacks grip. Braking distance and vehicle control are impaired. These tyres are not safe for driving and must be replaced. UK laws request a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm for car tyres, while motorcycle require at least 1mm across ¾ of the whole tread.
Ensure your vehicle is equipped with the correct winter, summer or all season tyres. All season tyres are specially adapted to the corresponding weather and road conditions of the season. A minimum of 1.6 millimetres is also required for the tread depth of winter and summer tyres. However, there is no legal requirement in the UK to change tyres during winter whereas in Germany, the law requires a situational obligation to equip the car with winter tyres when conditions are icy. As a rule of thumb, winter tyres are applied between October and Easter.
Please consider that safe driving in wet and snowy weather conditions is affected by the tread depth, the pattern design and the rubber compound of the tread of your tyres. On wet or snow-covered roads braking performance will progressively decline with lower tread depths. On wet roads there is an additional increased risk of aquaplaning with reduced tread depths. New tyres have far fewer problems with aquaplaning and provide better grip at higher speed.
Therefore, check your tyres regularly, reduce your speed on wet and snowy roads and consider replacing your tyres in good time.
Inform yourself before travelling abroad by car about the varying regional legal requirements of tread depth to avoid fines.