Check your tyre tread depth with a 20p coin
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Check your tyre tread depth with a 20p coin

Check your tyre tread depth with a 20p coin
Posted in Tips On By Connor Clayton

Did you know that in a survey undertaken last year, a staggering 69% of drivers questioned were not aware of the legal minimum tyre tread depth for the UK?

Did you know that in a survey undertaken last year, a staggering 69% of drivers questioned were not aware of the legal minimum tyre tread depth for the UK? Ask yourself, do you? If not, you really need to know.
  First, let’s get a better understanding of tyre treads. Simply put, they’re the grooves you find on your tyres, and they’re there to remove water from the road. This enables your vehicle to better grip the road surface. Without tyre treads, you’d struggle to control your car, especially in the wet when cornering and braking water cannot be dispersed between the tyre and the road surface leading to sliding. Think Formula 1 cars, driving on slick tyres (which have no tyre tread) in the rain… they skid and slide uncontrollably off the track so have to pit quickly to change to intermediate or wet tyres. Now picture the same situation, when it’s you, doing 70 mph on a wet motorway and your driving on tyres with no tread like slicks… It doesn’t bear thinking about does it. The more tread depth you have on your tyres, the more they can clear water from the road surface, and the better grip you’ll achieve. Simple as that. Plus your stopping distances will be much shorter too.

Introducing the 20p coin test

This very simple, yet ingenious, testing method offers UK drivers a handy way of checking their tyre tread depth regularly and at any time, using just a single 20p coin. So if you don’t have a tread depth gauge we recommend that you keep a 20p coin in your car at all times. That way, you’ll always be able to check your treads whenever you feel the need or are concerned about your treads. So how do you do it? Simple: just place the coin in the main tread channels multiple times, at various points around the tyre. If you can see any part of the outer band of the coin face, it means the tyre tread is too shallow – and probably illegal. It’s not only time to stop everything and replace your tyres, it’s vital that you do so as soon as possible.

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