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Understanding why part worn tyres are so dangerous

You may have heard of part worn tyres, but do you know just how dangerous they are? While many drivers know that part worns are available to buy, most are not aware that they pose a serious threat to driver safety. If this sounds like you, our latest tyre safety article aims to bring you quickly up to speed.

The dangers of part worns

In the view of tyre manufacturers, independent tyre testers, leading motoring organisations, and driving safety charities and NGOs, part worn tyres are not fit for purpose, and are a danger. Why? Because, as the name suggests, part worns are already severely degraded by the time their new owner has them fitted to their vehicle. Their quality is way below their optimum, and at best, part worns are only part safe. Considering just how important a role tyres play in keeping you safe on the road, that’s very worrying.

When you purchase brand new premium tyres, like those made by Continental, they come with a full 8 mm of tyre tread. This provides you with the optimum grip you need. By comparison, the overwhelming majority of part worn tyres are resold with just 3 mm of tread depth, significantly less than at new. This is the point at which tyre safety experts recommend that drivers replace them with new ones, because wear and degradation accelerate rapidly at this stage of their life.

Worse still, many part worns are sold with even less tread – anything down to the UK road legal minimum of 1.6 mm, by which time grip is noticeably worse. There have even been cases of part worns being criminally sold with even less tread depth than this. Good tyre tread depth is essential for generating the grip you need to drive safely on the road, especially in wet weather conditions – something we get a huge amount of in Britain.

Part worn tyres are often sold substantially damaged too

And it gets much, much worse. Part worns are very often sold with tyre damage that further increases the possiblility of experiencing an accident. Tears, cuts, nicks, bubbles or bulges can severely compromise the integrity of the sidewall – vital for maintaining the vertical strength of the tyre, since they absorb so much of the stresses that tyres undergo. Nails, glass, metal and other sharp objects are often found in part worn tyres too, increasing the chance of puncture, or worse high speed tyre blow-out.

Independent research by UK tyre charity TyreSafe shows that many part worns are sold with this kind of tyre damage. A recent investigation into the selling of part worns – undertaken in conjunction with the BBC – demonstrated that only two of ten sold were done so legally. The remaining eight of ten were deemed either unroadworthy, or incorrectly stamped – or both – as required by law.

And this finding isn’t a one off. TyreSafe – of which Continental are a leading member of – have undertaken many previous investigations into part worn tyres, including with the Trading Standards Authority. Asda Tyres can say – as a leading member of TyreSafe too, and with complete authority – that TyreSafe’s tireless work to protect British drivers from the perils of part worn tyres is essential for all of our safety on the road.

Fitting new premium tyres to your vehicle makes sense

New premium tyres – like the award winners from Continental – provide optimum performance and safety characteristics. There’s simply no comparison to or redeeming features with part worns. Even their cheap price point is a false economy – drivers end up having to replace them sooner since they’re already so worn down when fitted a second time. It makes much more sense to invest in high-quality premium tyres in the first place, and enjoy the superior performance, handling and safety characteristics that they provide smart drivers with.

  • Understanding why part worn tyres are so dangerous
  • Understanding why part worn tyres are so dangerous

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