The Kwik-Fit research shows that 6.9 million UK motorists (25 per cent) don’t check their tyres at all during the winter. Not surprisingly, 12.9 million British motorists (47 per cent) admit to losing control of their car on a wet or icy road with nearly one-in-five of these incidents (17 per cent) leading to an accident.
Further figures reveal that one-in-four British cars are driving on tyres with tread that is on the verge of the legal 1.6mm limit. David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, commented: “It’s second nature to change our footwear when it’s wet and icy but many motorists don’t think in the same way when it comes to preparing their cars, and especially their car tyres, for wintry conditions.”
Avon’s research, conducted before Christmas, found that almost three in four motorists would fail to correctly check the condition of their tyres before setting off for their festivities. The survey, carried out on motorists embarking on journeys between 100 and 500 miles, revealed millions were happy to leave home without sparing a thought for their tyres.
Less than half those interviewed checked their tyre pressures before their journey, with a staggering 70 per cent not bothering with their spare. Only 32 per cent regularly checked the depth of tread on their tyres.
The good news was the survey also revealed those travelling greater distances are almost three times (53 per cent compared to 19 per cent) as likely to check their tyre pressures, and four times (48 per cent compared to 13 per cent) as likely to check tread depth than those going on a short journey.
Avon estimates British motorists are collectively wasting more than £1 billion in tyre costs every year, and increasing the risk of an accident, by failing to keep an eye on their tyre pressure.
Kwik-Fit’s David White added: “It’s easy to overlook having your tyres checked but it’s a vital precaution to ensure safety for the wet and wintry conditions – which place far greater demands on a car’s ability to grip the road and slow down in a controlled fashion. The risk of skidding increases as tyres wear and tread depth diminishes or if they’re not inflated to the correct pressure.”