Why you shouldn’t drive with worn tyres

Why you shouldn’t drive with worn tyres

Simply put, driving with worn tyres is dangerous. Depending on how bad your tyres are, it can be a safety hazard for you, your passengers and other road users. Keeping your tyres roadworthy is an important step towards road safety. Having a minimum tread depth of 1.5mm is a legal requirement and will cause you to fail a WOF inspection. A quick check with a 20c coin can inform you of your approximate tread depth. The bottom of the “20” is about 2mm from the edge of the coin, so with the number facing you, insert the coin into the tyre tread. If you can read the whole number, your tyre is approaching the minimum depth and it’s time to replace them. If the numbers are still partially hidden, you know that your tyre tread is still legal.

Tyre pressure is another important safety factor. Most petrol stations have free tyre inflation and pressure machines. When you connect the valve it will tell you your current PSI. Generally, 32 PSI is acceptable but many newer tyres can be around or above 40 PSI. Your recommended PSI is stated on the wall of the tyre itself. Low-pressure tyres can fail in the centre causing wear on the outer edges which will also affect cornering and braking. Over-inflated tyres wear unevenly, have less traction and can also affect braking performance.

With this guide, we will talk you through other ways to identify signs of wear and the dangers of neglecting your wheels:

Punctures happen more often

With a thinner layer of rubber acting as a buffer between tyre and road, running over anything sharp is more likely to puncture your tyre.


Grooves in tyres are designed so water can flow out from under the tyre on wet surfaces. In worn tyres, this is more difficult which can cause your wheels to hydroplane – meaning the vehicle momentarily slides on the water.

Worn tyres overheat

Having little tread left means the rubber of the tyre is constantly in contact with the road. This causes more heat build-up compared to a tyre with good groove depth. A new tyre would have grooves to let the air course through. This cools the tyre.


Your brakes brake but it is your tyres that stop you. They work together as the most important safety feature on your car. Wet roads require longer to stop and with old, worn tyres it will take longer still. Not a good outcome in the case of an emergency.

Need new tyres? Contact your South Auckland tyre specialist today.