Are cracked tyres dangerous?

Author Name – Jack Underwood

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It is vitally important that you carry out regular maintenance checks on your car tyres to ensure they are safe and roadworthy. If you notice that your tyres are cracked, this could be a cause for concern. Within this article, we will be looking into the dangers of cracked tyres and will be looking into when you should be looking at changing your tyres.

tyre cracking

How to check your tyres

It is important that you check your tyres on a regular basis, especially if your car has not been driven for an extended period of time or if you are about to embark on a long journey. There are three important tyre checks that you need to undertake. Firstly, you should check that your tyres are at the correct tyre pressure.

Some vehicles are fitted with TPMS which will indicate on your car dashboard if your tyres are low on tyre pressure. Alternatively, you can pick yourself up a tyre pressure gauge or tyre pressure inflator to check the tyre pressures. Many petrol stations also offer you the capability to pump up your tyres.

Secondly, you should check the tyre tread depth. The tyre tread depth can be checked via conducting the 20p test.

Finally, you should manually check your tyres to see if you can identify any tyre cracks or bulges and attempt to remove any debris from the tyre.

If you notice are cracks in the tyre, you should contemplate changing the tyre. Cracks appear in the rubber compound of the tyre over time due to the chemicals and oils within the compound breaking down. These cracks in the tyre sidewall may also occur from potholes or debris on the road while driving.

Should you replace cracked tyres?

Generally, if your tyres are cracking, this is due to the tyre ageing. The following Government article looks at the effects of the material properties and structural integrity related to tyre ageing. If you notice tyre cracks, this can result in a tyre blowout, which if driving at speed can be extremely dangerous.

The cracks within the rubber compound will result in the tyres not being able to absorb shocks as well as previously. If you notice small cracks within the tyre tread, these are generally not a cause for concern however should be an indication that your tyres need changing in the near future.

At National, we offer a FREE safety check at all of our branches. To book a free safety check, please click the button below and you can get an appointment booked in.

Related: Book a safety check

Can cracked tyres cause an MOT failure?

If you notice that your tyres are cracked, it is important that you get these checked before an MOT, just to make sure that the tyre cracks are not worthy of an MOT failure. Small cracks indicate normal wear and tears however if the cracks turn into slits or blisters, then this will be an MOT failure. The following guide, looks at the pre-MOT checks that you should carry out before your MOT. At National, we offer a free MOT reminder service, which if you sign up for, you can get your next MOT for a cheaper price of £35.

Are cracked tyres illegal?

Small tyre cracks are not illegal but are a sign that your tyre will need replacing soon. If the cracks within the tyre are substantial then this is a dangerous fault and can potentially result in a tyre blowout. If you notice that your tyres are cracking, we would recommend getting your tyres checked for a specialist at your local National branch.

What are the risks of dangerous tyres?

Every year, dangerous tyres lead to around 5,000 convictions, 900 casualties, and 160 deaths or serious injuries. Not only that, but illegal tyres can actually end up costing you more than the price of a new set: you could face fines of up to £2500 and 3 points on your licence per illegal tyre, not to mention that if you're found to have illegal tyres in an accident, it can invalidate your insurance.

A free tyre check from National can make sure your four wheels are ready for the road. Book in now to stay safe on your journeys.

Book a Free Tyre Check

Want to know more about looking after your tyres? Check out our online tyre safety hub.

Why are my tyres cracking?

Tyre cracking generally occurs over time. Cracked tyres can occur due to the exposure of UV rays, this results in the chemicals within the rubber compound drying out, which makes the tyre stiffer and more prone to a tyre blowout. Unfortunately, tyres do not last forever and on average, tyres can last up to around 20,000 miles however, tyre cracking is a symptom of general tyre tread wear.

How to look after your tyres

It is important that you don't just wait until your MOT to check if your tyres are safe. MOT's occur by law every year so regular tyre checks are vital. Your tyre tread depth may be at an acceptable point, however, if your tyres are cracked or have any bulges then it may be time for a tyre change. Checking your tyres does not take long and can be done every 2 weeks, or before a long drive.

Make sure that your check your tyre tread depth, your tyre pressure and also manually inspect for any aesthetic issues with the tyre. During the FREE safety check at National, our branch staff will be able to fully inspect the tyre so if you have any worries at all about the condition of your tyres, it would be a good idea to get yourself booked in at your local National branch.

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