Company car drivers need to be educated to get the most of the tyre pressure monitoring systems that are becoming compulsory across the European Union.
That's the view of Mike Wise, director of Tyre Programmes at motor industry e-commerce expert Epyx.
From November of last year, all new car model types approved in the EU must have TMPS installed while all new cars sold must have them fitted from November 2014.
Wise said: “While this technology will inevitably add a small amount to the price of a new car, we believe that it is something that fleets should embrace.
“Every piece of research that has ever been carried out into tyre pressures in the fleet and general car parc shows that tyres are often woefully underinflated, damaging fuel economy and creating safety risks. This is an excellent way to solve the problem.”
However, Wise added that TMPS would only be effective if drivers were educated in its use and if fleet managers made it clear that they expected the systems to be properly used.
He said: “TPMS systems have been around for some years and the potential problem is that some drivers simply ignore them, either because they don’t understand their purpose or because they simply can’t be bothered to inflate their tyres.
“With the equipment becoming effectively compulsory on fleets, as part of their duty of care, employers need to ensure that drivers understand TPMS and acknowledge that any warning flagged up by the system must be acted upon.”
Wise added that a further issue was that TMPS should not be used by drivers as an excuse not to regularly inspect their tyres.
He said: “There is obviously much more to the safety of a tyre than its pressure and fleets managers should ensure that drivers are still carrying out regular inspections as part of the general vehicle checks that should be part of their risk management policy.”