Driving a tyre below the legal limit will not only invalidate your tyre insurance put can put you are your passengers safety at risk.
The current legal limit for a tyre within the UK at the moment is 1.6mm and in order for any tyre insurance claim to be paid your vehicle must have a minimum of 2mm of tread when a claim is made.
So how can a low tyre tread affect safety.
Your tyre will of been designed to not only cushion both you and your passengers but also to help your vehicle grip the road. This means that especially in bad weather conditions a low tyre thread can mean that your vehicle will have less grip and subsequently you will have less control.
In wet weather your risk of aquaplaning is increased and you also run the risk of falling foul of the law with a possible fine.
So how do you check the your tyre tread?
First and foremost before you start to check your tyres you must make sure that you have a space which will allow you to take a good look. If possible on a flat even road surface and away from oncoming traffic. Make sure that your vehicle is locked, hand brake on and keys secure.
Take a good look at your tyres via a visual inspection. Does your tyre have any strange shapes in it? Does it appear to be evenly worn? Are there any cracks? While this will not accurately measure your tyre a visual inspect is always a good place to start and may indicate that there is something wrong and that you need to visit your local garage. As with anything else the earlier that you spot uneven wear or other symptoms the less expensive and more straightforward it is to rectify.
If possible with a purpose built tyre gauge take measurements. Your tyre gauge may vary and we would also recommend that you read the instructions but they are a very simple to operate and normally consists of inserting a probe into the tyre tread and then being able to read from a gauge. Tyre gauges are not expensive and can be bought from most Auto centre for almost nothing and checking your tyre will only take a few minutes.
Your tyre will also have an in-built tyre tread guide. If you have ever wonders what the almost noble of rubber seemingly randomly placed in the middle if the tyre tread is then wonder no more. When you tyre has be worn sufficiently for the top of the nobble of rubber to be exposed it is time to get your tyres professionally checked and in most cases replaced.
If you are in any doubt simply drive to your local garage or tyre specialist who will be able to check your tyres for you.
Please also remember that your tyre insurance policy will not cover the cost of won't out tyre's and is instead to cover the cost of punctures. repairs or replacements.