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Part Worn Tyres Increase Risk Of Death

Author Name – Louise Helsby

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Do you know exactly what part worn tyres are?

Unsure? Well, as the name suggests, part worn tyres are – effectively – second hand tyres. They’re partly worn down already because they’ve been used by someone else before you. As a result, part worn tyres don’t have anywhere near the tread depth of new tyres. If you are driving in the snow then you are taking a huge risk with part worn tyres.

Why are there even part worn tyres available?

They exist because in Germany – where the vast majority of part worn tyres come from – most drivers change their tyres when they get down to just 3 mm of tread depth. The Germans do this – even though, as in Britain, the minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm – because they know that once the tread gets down to 3 mm they deteriorate very, very fast.

So – technically – part worn tyres are legal in the UK, but are they really safe? Read on to discover more...

Are part worn tyres safe?

Absolutely vital for driving in wet weather conditions, tyre treads were first invented by those clever engineers at Continental Tyres in 1904. Treads are the ‘grooves’ you can see in the rubber, and they’re designed to remove water from what’s known as the ‘contact patch’ between the tyre itself and the road. This allows drivers to brake, steer and accelerate.

When you buy a brand new set of tyres, the tread depth is 8 mm, but over time this wears down and as a result tyres get worse at gripping the road. So by the time the tyre tread is down to 3 mm, they are – according to tyre experts – nearly 80% worn. That’s a substantial loss of braking ability. Now consider this: many part worn tyres are sold with a tread depth of just 2mm…

Reduced tyre tread affects your ability to successfully stop safely in the wet – you’ll end up travelling further after you hit the brakes if your tyres are too worn down, compared to if they aren’t. That’s why most experts, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, and the DVLA, recommend we should all change our tyres when they’re down to 3 mm. 3 mm… The trouble is – if you buy a set of part worn tyres – this is the point when they start their new life with you…

Tyre tread depth and wear comparison

  • 8 mm Tyre is 0% worn. Excellent!
  • 7 mm Tyre is approximately 15% worn. Very good.
  • 6 mm Tyre is around 30% worn. Good.
  • 5 mm Tyre is roughly 45-50% worn. Okay.
  • 4 mm Tyre is approximately 65% worn. Acceptable.
  • 3 mm Tyre is near 80% worn. Plan to replace.
  • 2 mm Tyre is 95% worn. Alarming!
  • 1.6 mm Tyre is now at its legal limit, but that’s no reason to use it. Replace immediately!
  • Under 1.6 mm Tyre is now illegal, and subject to a £2,500 fine and 3 points on your licence. Irresponsible and dangerous.

Most part worn tyres are illegal

It’s understandable why many people opt to purchase part worn tyres, after all they seem cheap, and they often solve a short term problem, like passing an MOT (though not always).

But – even over the medium term – the reality is that they’re a false economy. Why? Because once tyre treads are down to 3 mm, the rate of wear accelerates. Before you know it they’re down to 1.6 mm and then you’re at risk of getting on the wrong side of the law.

Remember, the penalties for driving with tyres below the minimum legal tread depth in the UK are up to £2,500 and three points PER TYRE.

Still unsure about part worn tyres? Talk to National Tyres and Autocare

The simple fact is, part worn tyres are best avoided. Period. Even if the retailer’s following the rules and fitting them correctly, the tyres themselves aren’t safe, and they certainly won’t last very long – they’ll only need replacing again.

Road safety – your safety – is such an important issue that it’s always best to talk to an expert. Speak to your local National Tyres and Autocare professional for experienced, impartial advice, and about high quality fitting solutions. You can find your local branch here.

#SnowDay #SnowWatch #SnowJoke

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