Getting a grip on tyre safety

October: Tyre Safety Month

October is Tyre Safety Month – and therefore an ideal time to take a look at some of the basics of good tyre safety for any business that operates cars and vans.

Tyres are perhaps not the most interesting subject in the world but ensuring they are properly managed is essential and part of your duty of care as an employer. Yet there is evidence that they are not always taken seriously by road users. TyreSafe, the industry organisation behind the campaign, say that more than half of Britain’s motorists are driving on poorly maintained or defective tyres.

That statistic has a direct impact on what happens in the real world. Nearly 170 people were killed or seriously injured in tyre-related incidents last year, a casualty total that was higher than accidents caused by mobile phone use, something that receives much more publicity.

So what advice should you give to your drivers about tyres? These are the three key areas when it comes to safety:

  • Keep tyres properly inflated. Driving without the correct amount of air in tyres makes a vehicle more difficult to control and reduces the amount of grip it has on the road, increasing the risk of being involved in an accident. Especially, make sure drivers know the difference between the tyre pressure needed for a lightly and fully loaded vehicle.
  • Look for damage. Lumps, bumps, cracks and cuts are a sign your tyre may be dangerous and need replacing. If you see anything unexpected, have it inspected by a professional at a garage or tyre centre.
  • Check for tread. All tyres should have a tread depth above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm to ensure the tyre remains in contact with the road in the wet. More than 27% of tyres are already illegal when they are replaced and around 70% of tyres are below 2mm when replaced, according to TyreSafe.

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