Tyre Tread Depth

UK Leagal Requirement

The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. The tread must maintain a depth of at least 1.6mm in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the original tread width, throughout the whole of the circumference of the tyre.

The limit of 1.6mm is considered to be too low by many motoring organisations who recommend changing tyres if the tread depth falls to 2.0mm.
Many Tyre manufacturers recommend changing the tyres when the tread reaches a minimum tread depth of 3.0mm (but this is obviously in their best interest.

The main adverse effect of low tyre tread is the performance of the tyres in the wet. Bothe vehicle handling and stopping distances are affected by low tread depth due to the loss of the tyres ability to remove water from the between the road surface and surface of the tyre, increasing the liklyhood of the vehicle aquaplaning.
Improved tyre development and the introductions of special compounds to improve wet grip have vastly improved tyre performance even with low tread depths.


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