Fleet News

Van crashes blamed on damaged roads

The higher-than-normal level of van accidents in the recent wet weather are not all down to driver error, but partly due to the failings in the maintenance of our roads, according to a leading tyre expert.

Tony Bowman, managing director of etyres, the online tyre retailer, said: “What we are almost certainly seeing is a lethal cocktail of wider, part worn, tyres and rutted and badly-maintained roads.

Add rainwater and all too often the result is a vehicle aquaplaning out of control.

“Many van drivers are unaware that many tyres can still be within their legal limit, but their ability to move water away from the main tread has been degraded to the point that they literally float on standing water caught between ruts.

"And the Government’s own figures show that the nation’s road network is in an unacceptably poor state.”

Mr Bowman added: “I feel sorry for the driver caught up in a prang – in many cases the poor driver never had a reasonable chance to steer out of trouble.”

While drivers can’t do anything about the state of the roads, they can check that the sipes on their tyres – the grooves which carry water away from the centre of the tyre – still have enough depth to do the job.

Mr Bowman added: “And if you are towing a trailer, don’t even consider setting off with worn tyres – it just isn’t fair on other motorists or your passenger if you find yourself aquaplaning in yet another summer downpour. The risk of over-turning a van is just too great.”

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