The Importance of Tyre Tread

Apr 19,2022

In terms of safety, there may not be a more important component on your vehicle than its tyres. As tyres have evolved, as has their role in road safety. Tyres are made from specifically formulated rubber compounds and the way that the tread is engineered provides specific safety features.

Stopping Distances

If your tyres have an effective grip, this will lower your stopping distance, which means you will be able to brake better when needed. This is even more important when performing an emergency braking manoeuvre.


Aquaplaning happens when a layer of water builds between the wheel and the road surface, causing a loss of traction that can prevent effective braking and limit handling. When the tyre has sufficient tread, it helps to disperse the water between the tire and the surface. As the grooves are worn away, their ability to do this is reduced. Aquaplaning can be very scary and extremely dangerous. The more tread the tyre has, the better contact they have with the surface and the less likely you are to lose traction in wet conditions.

If these two reasons aren’t enough to ensure that you check your tyre tread depth, the risk of being fined £2,500 and getting three points on your licence should encourage you to do so. This is per tyre too, which means if all four of your tyres don’t have a minimum tread of 1.6mm, you could face a fine of £10,000 and 12 points on your licence.

How to check your tyre tread

One of the most important checks you can do on your care is its tyre tread depth. If your tyre tread is worn, it means that the contact patch between you and the road is past its best. By law, motorists are required to check that their tyre tread depth is at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the entire circumference.

The 20p Test

This is a simple, quick and easy way to check your tyre tread. Take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre. Your tyres are above the legal limit if you can’t see the outer band on the coin. If you can see the band, your tyres can be unsafe and should be inspected by a professional.

Longbridge Tyres

If you are uncertain about whether your tyre tread meets legal standards or are looking for new tyres, Longbridge Tyres are experts and will be happy to help. Longbridge Tyres are a premier tyre dealer in the Birmingham and Solihull areas, supplying and fitting tyres for over 20 years. We stock a wide range of excellent tyre brands to suit all. Please contact us on 0121 457 7582 or fill out our online contact form.

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