Drivers are neglecting their tyres, with fresh rubber remaining low on the vast majority of motorists’ priority lists, according to a recent survey.
Research conducted by tyre specialists Micheldever has found that an increasing number of motorists are driving with severely worn tyres.
From the vehicles surveyed, 58 per cent had at least one tyre that was below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm. Meanwhile, over 95 per cent of vehicles had a tyre below 2mm. These figures are cemented by the fall in the average number of replacement tyres purchased during retailer visits, falling down from two to just one.
This is a massive increase from just four years ago. In 2008 a similar survey revealed that 15.3 per cent of vehicles had at least one illegal tyre and just over 64 per cent had one tyre below 2mm. This suggests that the current economic climate is forcing drivers to rely on overly-worn tyres and purchase inferior, part-worn tyres at cheaper prices rather than invest in brand new replacements.
However, there is a hidden false economy when it comes to purchasing used tyres. Used tyres will automatically have less tread than new ones. This means buyers will end up replacing their tyres more often, resulting in higher expenses.
Tyre manufacturer Falken is trying to prevent badly worn tyres from filtering back into the market place, and believes the risks are not worth the monetary saving: “As the safety of such tyres will be compromised, Falken urges all consumers not to entertain them,” said UK and Ireland Director of Falken Tyres, Matt Smith. “At Falken we shall endeavour to ensure that our high-performance tyres will continue to be sold at affordable prices.”
To meet this objective in selling high quality tyres at an affordable price, Falken is offering new tyre technology, which features novel tread wear indicators to ensure drivers can maximise and prolong the life of their tyres. Falken’s ‘Special Eyes’ indicators are said to change shape with increasing wear, and customers will have the ability to visually track and monitor their tyre deterioration. Drivers will receive visual prompts as to when to rotate their tyres, so that even tread wear can be achieved.