Does Braking Distance Increase When Tyre Tread Wears Out?

Jul 27, 2020

Does Braking Distance Increase When  Tyre Tread Wears Out?

New tyres will tend to have a tread depth of around 8mm, but as you use your car the rubber gradually wears down. While this is normal, every car owner needs to be aware of the fact that 1.6mm is the minimum tyre tread depth in the UK. If you get caught with tyre tread lower than the minimum, you risk getting fined and penalty points on your licence per tyre.

This law is in place because once your tread goes beyond that point, your tyre tread will not be able to grip the road. Worn out tyre treads will have an impact on your stopping distances.

The impact tyre tread has on stopping distances

Driving performance can suffer in several ways if tread depth gets too low. During harsh weather conditions such as snow and ice, insufficient tyre tread is going to have a detrimental effect to your car’s handling, further increasing your stopping distance.

In wet conditions, tyres need a sufficient amount of tread to let the water on the road to pass through the grooves in order to remain in contact with the road and gain traction.

The condition of your tyres will make it harder to avoid a collision if you need to emergency brake due to stopped traffic or other road obstacles.


Have you ever been driving in wet conditions and experienced what is known as aquaplaning? Aquaplaning can occur when a layer of water builds up between your tyres and the road, resulting in a loss of traction and prevents you from braking, accelerating or steering. It can be very scary for drivers and if you can’t restore contact with the road quick enough, you are at risk of being involved in a serious accident.

If your tyre tread is low, you are at higher risk of aquaplaning. Here in the UK, we experience more rain than sunshine, so it is very common for us to be out on wet roads. Tyre tread has been designed to allow tyres to cut into surface water and still make contact with the road. The more water on the roads, the quicker you’re likely to lose control.

Is your tyre tread low?

Time for new tyres! If you want to know how much new tyres cost, why not get quotes from local garages in your area with We are the easiest ways to gather quotes, saving you both time and money.

Get your quote today!

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