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Why it’s important to check your tread depth


People will often overlook the importance tyres have to the safety and control of their vehicles. Serving as your vehicle’s only point of contact with the road, understanding tread depth is just one aspect of tyre safety and maintenance that drivers should pay regular attention to.

According to a study from the National Highways 20% of all breakdowns are attributed to existing tyre issues, with many of these being avoidable with regular tyre checks. So to help avoid future problems, check out our guide to tread depth below:

Why is tread depth important?

In the UK the legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm with a recommendation of 3mm across three-quarters of your tyres. This means tyres found below this limit will be deemed unroadworthy and drivers risk a hefty fine and 3 points on their licence. While the risks may not be apparent through normal driving, a shallow tread can impact performance when you need it most.


The primary function of your tyre’s tread is to help it grip the road. For tyres to do this effectively they need substantial tread depth to tackle the conditions encountered day to day, and maintain control on icy, wet, or dry roads.


The role your tyres play in the process of braking is an important one, once you press down on the pedal, the tyre tread is designed to grip the road and allow your vehicle to decelerate fast and safely. Low tread may increase your braking distances to more than double, compromising your safety and that of others on the road.


Aquaplaning, also known as hydroplaning, happens when water builds up faster than your tyre is able to displace it. The blocks and grooves in the tread pattern are an important safety mechanism in aiding your car in dispersing water away, meaning less tread creates a higher risk of losing control over your vehicle.

How to check your tread depth

There are several ways you can check the depth of your tread

  • Check your tyres with a 20p – A simple test is to simply insert your coin into the grooves of your tyre and if you can still see the outer line of the coin, your tyres are considered unsafe and will require inspection.
  • Tyre tread depth gauge – You can purchase tools designed to check the tread depth in the most accurate way, offering you a measurement in millimetres.
  • Tyre wear blocks – Often embossed in the tread of the tyre will be a line indicator to help you immediately identify whether your tyre is under the legal tread depth.

If you are ever in doubt, you can reach out to your local Landsail distributor. Fixing any issues today could ensure your safety and the longevity of your vehicle.

For more information on maintaining your tyres, check out Fuzz’s video here. To learn more about Landsail tyres and our range, check out our product page here.

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Tyre Size Guide

The normal width of the tyre
The aspect ratio, this mark represents the height of the tyre sidewall
The diameter of the tyres inner rim in inches
Load capacity of the tyre
The maximum speed for this tyre at full load