Hazards of under-inflated tyres

A new survey into drivers' attitudes towards vehicle maintenance has revealed that as many as 20% of motorists drive on under-inflated tyres.

And one in 10 drivers take to the wheel with tyres below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm, according to the poll by automotive parts and repair company Kwik-Fit.

The most dangerous examples brought in by customers over the past year have been displayed on a "tyre wall of shame" calendar for 2009.

David White, Kwik-Fit's customer services director, said: "The really scary part is that, while each tyre represents the worst example seen in that particular month, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

"Indeed, we saw enough tyres like these in 2008 to fill at least 50 calendars."

One of the consequences of driving a car which has an under-inflated tyre is sudden tyre failure, such as a blowout, which can lead to a serious loss of control of the vehicle. Poor handling and braking performance can also be experienced by motorists with an under-inflated tyre.

A car's ability to stop can also be adversely affected by tyres with a tread depth beneath the legal minimum of 1.6mm, with the situation worse in wintry conditions.

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