By failing to ensure the tread depth on their car tyres meets legal standards, many motorists may be endangering road safety and risking unnecessary car insurance claims, experts say.
A survey by online group mytyres.co.uk has found that more than half of vehicle owners allow their tyre tread depth to fall below the legal minimum of 1.6mm.
Flouting the regulation could land drivers with a £2,500 fine and three penalty points on their licence. Despite this, only 54% of the motorists polled said they would consider changing their tyres because of low tread depth.
The study also found that just over six in 10 drivers think dangerous bulges and cracks are a good reason to replace tyres.
Experts recommend that motorists should consider getting new tyres once the tread depth drops below 2.5mm.
A spokesman for Delticom AG, which operates in the UK as mytyres, said: "Tyres are without a doubt one of the most important safety components on a vehicle, so it is worrying that such a large number of car drivers could be on the roads with illegal tyres.
"It is extremely dangerous to drive with faulty or severely worn tyres as this can result in serious and potentially, fatal accidents."
© Press Association 2011