Solicitors firm warns drivers to check their tyres or face prosecution

National Law Firm, Ashworth Motoring Law is running a campaign to raise awareness of tyre safety and highlight the dangers of driving on defective tyres. The campaign backs national tyre safety month which runs throughout October.

Ashworth Motoring Law, which specialises in representing drivers who are facing the possible loss of their driving licence is reminding drivers to check their tyres or face prosecution or an accident.

The campaign follows figures released by TyreSafe which show that over one in four cars and vans are driven on Britain’s roads with illegal and dangerous tyres.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, 2.2 million cars fail the MoT due to tyre-related defects, and figures from the highways agency indicate that an annual average of 1135 casualties are caused by tyre-related incidents with 198 of those incidents resulting in serious injury or death.

Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law, Alison Ashworth said “Driving on defective tyres is extremely dangerous and risks lives. Many drivers forget to perform basic checks, taking for granted that their tyres are safe. Being caught with defective tyres would result in a fine of up to £2500 and three penalty points per tyre. A person could ‘tot-up’ 12 points and face a 6-month driving ban if all of their tyres were defective”.

The legal tread depth is 1.6mm and can be checked by inserting a 20p into the tyre’s tread groove and assessing whether the outer rim can be seen. The condition and pressure of tyres should also be checked on a regular basis.

Alison, who regularly appears on TV and on the Radio discussing motoring law related issues continued “Now that the seasons are changing, it’s crucial to ensure that our tyres are safe and ready for the harsh conditions of winter. We are advising drivers, ‘don’t chance it, check it’.”

In support of tyre safety month, many local retailers are offering a free tyre health check throughout October in an attempt to get illegal and dangerous tyres off the road. To find a local dealer offering a free tyre health check visit

For more information, or to contact Ashworth Motoring Law in relation to a motoring law issue, call the local rate helpline on 0330 22 770, email or visit



How to drive on snow

Vehicle covered in snow

Driving on snow can be very dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

With snow predicted in parts of the UK on the first weekend of December, and a deep freeze suggested just before Christmas, we’ve put together some tips on best practice when driving on snow to give you the best chance of reaching your destination safely.

Pre-journey check list for driving on snow:

  • Check your tyres

Do they have adequate tread? You need at least 2mm but ideally 3mm for driving on snow.  If your tyre tread is below 1.6mm then your tyres are illegal and need to be replaced. It’s 3 penalty points per tyre if you fail to meet the basic legal standard.  Don’t be tempted to reduce your tyre pressure for more grip; doing this will only reduce stability.

  • Check your wipers

Turn any automatic wiper function off before turning the engine on. The wiper control fuse could blow if the wipers are frozen to the screen

  • Check you’ve got everything you need

Warm clothes, de-icer, ice scraper, de-mister, a shovel, a torch, phone charger, and if possible, a square of old carpet for under your wheels for traction if you get stuck in the snow.  This is your basic back-up kit for driving on snow.

  • Check you can see properly before setting off

Fully clear the windscreen and mirrors before setting off. Use lukewarm water or de-icer. Never use boiling water! It can crack the windscreen. It’s 3 penalty points on your driving licence for not being in proper control of your vehicle if you have an obstructed view of the road ahead.

  • Check others can see you before setting off

Clear excess snow off the top of your vehicle, lights and number plates before setting off. You could get 3-9 penalty points for careless or inconsiderate driving if the snow falls into the path of another road user during your journey.

How to drive on snow


Setting off:

  • Use second gear to pull away. Ease your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel spin.
  • Accelerate gently, using low revs.
  • Change up to a higher gear as soon as possible

On the road:

  • Leave plenty of room (ten times the usual distance) between your vehicle and the car in front. The car in front might skid and you need to be able to avoid it.
  • Avoid roads which you know are unlikely to have been gritted.
  • Be cautious of driving in other vehicle’s tracks if the road hasn’t been gritted. The snow could be more compressed and therefore icier than fresh snow.
  • Try to wait until any steep hills are clear of moving traffic before you attempt it.
  • Keep a constant speed if possible.
  • Try to use a lower gear to slow down and avoid using the brakes if you can.
  • If you have to use the brakes, apply them very gently.
  • If you skid, steer gently into it. Never take your hands off the steering wheel and don’t be tempted to hit the brakes hard. This will make things worse. If the rear of the car is sliding to the left, steer gently to the left. If It’s sliding to the right, steer gently to the right.

If you get stuck whilst driving in the snow:

  • Straighten the steering.
  • Clear as much snow as possible from the wheels.
  • Try and put something in front of the wheels for grip.
  • Don’t stop until you’re on firmer ground.

If all of the above looks like too much hassle, and your journey really isn’t that important then pop the fire on, grab a cup of tea and declare it a snow day. Nothing is more important than your safety.

Hot chocolate snow day
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Ashworth Motoring Law are experts in defending driving offences such as careless driving, speeding and drink driving. If you have been accused of committing a motoring offence and would like to speak to a specialist motoring law solicitor, call our advice line on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial legal advice. Lines are open round the clock so get in touch whenever’s best for you.