Kwik Fit is urging fleet operators to follow the example set by the emergency services and change their tyres more regularly.
Bluelight fleets change their tyres, on average, at a tread depth of 2.74mm – despite the legal limit being 1.6mm.
The findings of Kwik Fit’s study, which was a result of a Freedom of Information request made to every police force, fire and rescue service and ambulance service in the UK, found only 16% of the UK’s bluelight services allow the tyres on their emergency vehicle fleets to go below 2.5mm of tread before being changed.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The emergency services have the highest standards when it comes to safety and this is something all motorists should be trying to replicate. Checking tyre tread depth is often forgotten by motorists, yet it has a vital role in safety as our tyres are the only thing in contact with the road.”
Ambulance services have the strictest protocols, with 73% having a formal policy laid down. 82% of the ambulance fleets either mandate or recommend tyres are changed at a tread depth between 2.6mm and 3mm. This compares to 68% of fire brigades and 66% of police services having a formal policy, and 73% and 71% of the services enforcing or recommending tyres are changed between 2.6mm and 3mm respectively.
Previous research by Kwik Fit found that one in eight (12%) drivers never check their tyre tread depth on a regular basis. It is vital that motorists start getting into the habit of regular vehicle safety checks, similar to those carried out by the emergency services.