An 18 month investigation carried out by Bridgestone and Highways England – the company responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the country’s motorways – has found that nearly three-quarters of tyre-related motorway accidents could potentially have been avoided by simple tyre checks.
The research showed there are several reasons why tyres eventually wear and tear, with road conditions, low pressure, and nails/screws embedded in the rubber chief amongst them. Over 1,000 segments of tyre debris were analysed, with the results showing that 56% of tyres failed because of road/yard debris penetration, 18% because of poor inflation, and 8% because of poor vehicle maintenance.
This important research highlights that fleet operators, professional drivers and other road users must take their responsibility for road safety seriously by getting into the habit of regularly checking tyre pressures, tread depths and looking out for nails and other debris stuck in the wall of tyres prior to setting out on journeys.
It’s not just hauliers, fleet operators and other road users that incur financial losses as a result of tyre-related accidents. The cost of delays and lane closures on our busiest motorways costs hundreds of thousands of pounds to the UK economy. The bottom line is that regular, simple tyre checks can contribute to economic stability and more crucially play a major part in saving lives.
Here’s how you and your drivers can contribute to the safety of our roads:
• Check your tyre pressures – tyres that are under inflated can overheat and potentially cause a ‘blow out’. Similarly an over inflated tyre can lead to poor vehicle handling on the road. If you are unsure about the correct pressures for your tyres, the vehicle handbook will list the correct pressures at laden and unladen weights.
• Check your tread depth – the legal limit for minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the full circumference. The minimum HGV tyre tread depth is currently only 1mm, but this is expected to increase to 1.25mm. To check the tread depth you can either check the tread markers that are built into the tyre and run horizontal to the tread pattern, or purchase a tyre tread depth gauge and keep it in the glovebox of your vehicle, so it’s always ready to hand. If you are a Savanna driver or client, we’ll supply you with a free tyre tread gauge keyring.
• Check for external damage – regularly look for signs of wear and tear, bulges, cuts and for any debris stuck into the wall of the tyre. If you spot anything unusual get your vehicle checked over by a professional.
If you run a fleet of vehicles and are looking for drivers to supplement your own team either on a temporary or permanent basis, contact us today on 0330 335 8367 or complete our Enquiry Form.