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Minimum Legal Tyre Tread Depth
The legal minimum tread depth for car and similar tyres in the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Community is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three quarters of the breadth of tread and round the entire other circumference of the tyre.
Most car type tyres have tread wear indicators, usually at least six
small ribs across the bottom of the main tread grooves, and when the
tread surface becomes level with these ribs the tyre is at the legal
limit and must be replaced. How to measure the depth of your tyres using a 20p piece.
Simple and cheap gauges are widely available to give an acceptable guide to tread depth.
One of the features of tyre tread features of tyre tread pattern design is
to give good grip in wet conditions. Generally speaking available grip reduces
as the tyre wears or as the road surface water depth increases and you should
reduce speed in such conditions.
Please note that despite the legal minimum being 1.6mm, it is universally recognised in the tyre industry that the legal limit is completely insufficient and will not protect drivers in adverse driving conditions.
Drivers are therefore recommended to consider replacing their tyres when the tread depth reaches 3mm.
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