Continental Tyres – a tyre manufacturer – randomly tested nearly 17,000 cars in suburban car parks across Australia in March 2016 and found 27 per cent of cars surveyed had tyres that would need to be replaced within six months and five per cent that were already illegal. Overall, 67.96 per cent of tyres were found to have a ‘safe’ level of more than 3mm of tread.
The legal minimal requirement in Australia for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, however, between 1.6mm and 3mm is ideal for significantly reducing braking distances, especially in wet weather, according to Continental Tyres, which considers 3mm-plus suitable for safe driving.
Queensland cars were found to have the best tyres, with 83 per cent of the 1372 cars surveyed classed as safe for driving with an appropriate tread depth of more than 3mm.
South Australia and the ACT were the worst offenders, with 38 per cent of tested cars in each area (2406 in SA and 1091 in ACT) classed as having at-risk tyres, or tyres below the minimum legal requirement for tread depth.
Western Australia had the highest percentage of un-roadworthy cars with 7 per cent of the 1151 cars surveyed found lacking.
New South Wales (4091 cars tested) and Victoria (6865 cars tested) both had 32 per cent of cars tested possessing at-risk or un-roadworthy tyres and were in line with the national average, however, NSW had a much higher proportion of illegal tyres compared to Victoria.