New video shows the dangers of low tyre tread depth

A new 360° video from TyreSafe shows the startling difference in braking distances between tyres just below the legal limit and those with full tread.

The film has been devised to immerse viewers in the action, so they can safely experience for themselves the lack of control provided by tyres with dangerously low tread depth. The film builds to a dramatic climax as the test car careers through a purpose-built wall – out of control and unable to stop in time.

Following the controlled incident, viewers can see for themselves how much further it has travelled before coming to a stop compared with the car equipped with almost new tyres – a full 14m, practically a bus length.

TyreSafe 360 brings to life the risks of driving with tyres approaching, or just under, the minimum legal tread limit in a way which has never been done before,” Stuart Jackson, the Chairman of TyreSafe, said.“Viewers using VR goggles especially will be far closer to the real-world experience of being out of control, as the braking and steering systems of the car can do nothing to help them avoid an impact in wet conditions.

“The vulnerability and helplessness a driver feels under these circumstances is something we hope viewers take on board after watching, and that they are encouraged to carry out the regular tyre safety checks.”

There are three key elements to check:

  • Air pressure - Vehicle manufacturers typically provide two air pressure levels, one for light loads and another for when fully laden. Over-inflation causes accelerated wear in the centre of the tyre, while under-inflation causes wear on the outside edges. Both will affect the way a vehicle corners and brakes, and increase the risks of tyre damage.Under-inflation also increases fuel consumption.
  • Condition - Lumps and bumps may be signs of structural damage, and objects embedded in a tyre can lead to catastrophic failure on the road. If any of these are present, the tyre should be checked immediately by a professional.
  • Tread depth - The minimum legal limit is 1.6mm. As a guide to how close a tyre’s tread depth is to this limit, insert a 20p piece into the main grooves across its centre section and at several points around the circumference. If the rim of the coin is visible or close to being visible at any point, the tyre maybe illegal and again should be inspected by a professional.

TyreSafe 360 is available as an app from the Apple Store, Google Play and on TyreSafe’s YouTube channel.