A NEW SURVEY has revealed that one in six cars driving on Irish roads has tyres that are at or below the minimum legal tread depth.
The survey of over 300 cars at Maxol outlets in Donegal, Dublin, Kildare and Mayo, carried out by Continental Tyres, covered both tread depth and whether the tyres were inflated to the correct air pressure.
It found that 16.7 per cent were at or below the legal depth limit of 1.6mm. Independent tests have shown that cars driving on tyres at the 1.6mm legal tread limit demonstrate a dangerous lack of control in cornering and seriously increased stopping distances on both dry and wet roads.
The optimum recommended time to replace tyres is when they reach 3mm with tests showing that once the tread drops below this, performance drops off sharply.
Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland said the results of the survey were “shocking”.
“We know that in the current economic climate, motorists have been cutting back on their motoring expenses and some may have been tempted to push their tyres to the limit,” he said. “However, as your only contact with the road, tyres are such a critical element of your car’s overall performance, so our advice is don’t gamble with your family’s safety by neglecting your tyres.”
The survey showed that almost half of the cars tested had at least one tyre that was at or below 3mm and 53 per cent were found to be on tyres with incorrect pressure. In the vast majority of cases they were under-inflated and 41 per cent of cars with incorrect pressure were found to be dangerously inflated.
“Incorrect tyre pressure can affect your vehicle’s handling, overall safety, fuel economy and ride comfort, and it is such an easy thing to get right with the correct pressure information printed on the vehicle itself and in the manual,” Dennigan added.