Your Tyre’s Contact Patch

A tyre is the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road surface. It serves as a link between the vehicle and the road ensuring safety at all times. The part of a passenger tyre that is in actual contact with the road is about the size of a man’s palm, whereas the part in contact with the road for a truck tyre is about the size of two hand palms.


The legal minimum tyre tread depth for a passenger tyre is 1.6mm. Anything close to or at the same level as 1.6mm means that your tyres are due for replacement. In addition to steering, acceleration and braking, the contact patch also aids in cornering, grip and comfort.

The contact patch in tyres:

  • Supports the entire weight of the vehicle
  • Receives commands
  • Absorbs obstacles

How to Check on Tyre Tread Depth

All tyres have tread depth indicators whose position is specified on the tyre’s outer sidewall by a Bibendum – a triangular or notch-like marking allowing a quick check of the tread depth. It is advisable to check it regularly. This guarantees maximum traction and grip, helping you avoid any unpleasant surprises. Your safety depends on a good level of tread depth because:

  • Tread disperses water from underneath your tyre, helping to maintain control. The more tread you have remaining on your tyres, the more you will reduce the risk of aqua planning
  • Tread grips to the road affecting the distance you require for braking

Ensure a regular tyre check for tyre pressure, balancing, alignment, tyre rotation to avoid uneven tyre wear and for maximum road safety. Visit any of our Kingsway Tyres service centres countrywide for more information and services. For more information, call us on 0735 699 000 or email:

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