69% of motorists don’t know minimum tyre tread depth
Taking the results of a survey conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, we can safely conclude that driver knowledge about tyre tread depths isn’t what it should be. The independent fleet management specialist shares that 69 per cent of survey participants weren’t aware of the 1.6mm minimum legal tread depth limit.
Of the motorists surveyed by Venson, those aged 25 to 54 are most likely to be aware of the correct tyre tread depth. However, 31 per cent of all those surveyed said they don’t bother to check tread depth and rely on their annual MOT to uncover any cause for concern. Women (38 per cent) are more likely to rely on the MOT than men (25 per cent). A further 31 per cent said they check their tyres every six months or so, but seven per cent only check their tyre tread before a long car journey. The conscientious are in the minority, with just four per cent of people surveyed saying they check their tyre tread once a week.
Tyre pressure checks are equally overlooked, with 44 per cent of respondents admitting they only check pressure before embarking on a long journey. Encouragingly, nearly one in four do check tyre pressures roughly once a month, but 12 per cent rely on their vehicle being serviced to have the pressure checked.
“It’s important that companies take a more proactive role in ensuring their car and van drivers check their tyres,” is the message that Gil Kelly, operations director, Venson Automotive Solutions, wishes to drive home to the companies associated with the more than 4.7 million leased cars and vans (according to BVRLA figures for 2016) on UK roads. “Firms need to encourage standard inspections, conducted weekly, to reduce the risk of breakdowns and accidents – as well as fines if they go below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm.
“As well as checking tyre tread and pressure, it’s also important to ensure the correct tyres are fitted for every type of company vehicle and use,” adds Kelly. “For example, a manufacturer may sell a vehicle equipped with a standard road tyre, but if the vehicle is being used in a specific environment, such as off road, the tyre will need to be changed. Fleet managers should partner with professionals who will ensure their vehicles are equipped for their needs and that means understanding different tyres and the different uses. A flexible approach to maintenance is also required.”
Kelly concludes: “Crucially, drivers need to be aware of the need to inspect their tyres on a regular basis, including the spare. Not only will this reduce vehicle downtime, but it minimises the risk of breakdowns and even fines if a tyre tread drops below the legal limits. With a few simple checks, drivers can avoid the risks and businesses can maintain a safer, more efficient fleet.”