Patrick McGillycuddy, head of fleet at Skoda, looks at the importance of tyre safety.
Safety standards in modern cars are nothing short of amazing. The amount of research, development and engineering that goes into making cars as safe as possible when they leave the factory is immense.
So, with regular servicing for cars and licence checking for drivers, you’d think that these days fleet safety was all in hand. However, there’s one thing that’s not covered by those points and that’s the condition of each car’s tyres.
Yes, an annual service will check a vehicle’s tyres, but with lengthening service intervals (which are great for fleet costs) tyres are the one thing, in safety terms, that need most checking between services.
There are many reasons for this. For starters, it’s not just the amount of tread that’s left, or the pressure they’re at, but also the condition of the tyre.
By that I mean that you should be getting your drivers (or an external company – many will do it for free) to look at the tyres for signs of damage from kerbing or simply picking up nails, which seems to be worryingly common.
The thing is, as a well-aired TV commercial says, your tyres are the only thing that connects your car to the road.
At this time of year when the roads are wet, greasy, cold and possibly icy, your tyres and their performance is even more important. I’m not going to insist all your cars should be on winter tyres. That’s a nice idea, but the harsh realities of business and the rarity of snow (at least in England) mean the case isn’t strong enough. However, the case for checking your tyres is strong.
If you do just one thing to boost your fleet and driver safety this season, it should be to make an effort to check the tyres on all vehicles.
There’s plenty of high-quality, free information out there to help and one of the best starting points is TyreSafe .
You could easily put together your own plan of action:
- Give each of your drivers a depth gauge and a guide on how to check tyres. This could cover the legal minimum depth of 1.6mm, but it’s recommended not going below 3mm for maximum safety.
2. Run a competition to test their tyre knowledge
3. Why not book your cars in for a winter health check with your local retailer?
This one small action could just save a life.