Nearly one in two British motorists are risking thousands of pounds worth of fines and potential driving bans on a daily basis, according to shocking new research revealed by the HiQ fast fit network.
HiQ has conducted an illegal tyre audit across its network and can reveal that 42% of motorists are making journeys on dangerously worn tyres.
The biggest culprits were found in the Birmingham, the north east and Cheshire areas of the UK, prompting HiQ to issue a rallying call to motorists to wake up.
More worryingly, the results are significantly up from HiQ's last audit in 2009, when 27 per cent of motorists were driving on illegal tyres.
HiQ's Retail Development Manager, Farrell Dolan said that the results proved that despite years of highlighting the danger of bare, worn tyres, the safety message is still not getting through.
This is why HiQ, the nationwide fast fit network, has come up with a no-nonsense 1-2-3 campaign in a bid to rid the roads of an unnecessary danger.
1. One worn or defective tyre could cost you £2,500*
2. Two tyre lengths could be added to your stopping distance at 50mph in wet conditions**
3. Three points will be added to your license for each tyre with a tread depth less than 1.6mm***
The network is investing heavily to add weight to its hard hitting campaign, while equipping motorists with the tools they need to avoid the three hazardous pitfalls associated with illegal tyres.
The brand has created an SMS and email alert service for their customers, to remind them about their tyre pressure levels.
In addition, participating HiQ centres across the UK will be providing free tyre safety checks for motorists from now until the end of the year.
Mr Dolan added: "We wanted to generate some hard hitting messages that motorists will take note of.
"To say we were shocked by our audit results is an understatement. We were staggered that thousands of motorists are sitting on an automotive time bomb.
"Some vehicles we checked had three or even four defective tyres, which would amount to 12 penalty points and up to £10,000 in fines. It is that serious.
"The prospect of penalty points to your licence, let alone the cost implications and safety element, is particularly strong and a fact that we hope will resonate with a number of people.
"The aim of this campaign is more than just getting people to change illegal tyres. We want it to have far more longevity than that, with messages that will stay with drivers for a long, long time."
To supplement the campaign, every HiQ centre will be offering free tyre safety checks for the rest of the year, kicking off on the Sepetmber 1 with the 'Back to school' safety check programme.
Recent research suggests that up to 3.5 million motorists in the UK are driving on illegal tyres3, which further supports HiQ's case that a worrying ignorance exists amongst drivers when it comes to road safety.