The dangers of a lack of awareness surrounding the need to regularly inspect tyre wear and tear have been highlighted by vehicle recovery specialists the AA.
New research carried out by the organisation has revealed almost two-thirds of female vehicle operators (65 per cent) and more than one-third (36 per cent) of male drivers rely solely on mechanics at their garage to tell them when their tyres have become excessively worn and need to be replaced.
Out of the more than 18,000 people polled by the AA, fewer than half (43 per cent) said they regularly carry out inspections on the state of their tyres, while a shocking three per cent stated they had never done so.
David Bruce, director of AA Tyres, commented: "The latest Department for Transport statistics show that there are over 650 injury accidents per year directly attributable to defective tyres. And according to Ministry of Justice figures, a whopping 170 drivers a week are prosecuted for defective tyres.
"Those figures exclude possibly thousands of collisions where stopping distances might have been compromised by poorly inflated or worn tyres; or cornering control has been lost for the same reason."
Motorists are advised that the legal requirements for minimum tread depth on tyres for regular road cars is 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre's surface and around its entire circumference.
In addition, it is recommended that tyres are replaced when tread depth falls below 2 mm, as failure to do so can result in diminished handling and increased braking distances due to a lack of grip.
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