TyreSafe has launched a new film for businesses explaining how they can significantly reduce their fuel bills and ensure safer driving by correctly maintaining the tyres on their fleet vehicles.
Worryingly, it is estimated that more than a third of cars on the UK’s roads have dangerously under-inflated tyres. Coupled with the fact that a million new cars are registered every year by fleets and businesses, and an alarming scenario takes shape.
However, businesses and fleet operators that implement a robust tyre maintenance policy can enjoy lower running costs and ensure their vehicles are as safe to drive as possible.
And to drive the message home, the short film available to watch at tyresafe.org, gives a graphic example of how the higher running costs for just one car can quickly escalate when applied to a typical larger fleet.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “Businesses have a duty of care to ensure a safe working environment and this extends to the vehicles their staff use for work.
“If the prospect of a hefty fine wasn’t enough, then the chance to cut running costs must be reason to implement a tyre maintenance programme. Indeed, it’s been estimated that a car driving with tyres under-inflated by 20 per cent will reduce its fuel economy by 3 per cent. While that might not seem a lot for one car, when it’s multiplied across a large fleet covering many miles, then that’s a lot of wasted money.”
Under-inflated tyres produce more rolling resistance which in turn means they need more energy to make them turn, hence the engine having to work harder than if inflated to the correct level.
Apart from the financial aspect, the film also shows the dangers of running with under inflated tyres and how handling can be significantly compromised, even with the air pressure reduced by just 6 psi, a typical level of under-inflation.
However, it’s not just businesses that have a legal, and moral, responsibility to fulfil as individual drivers also face punitive fines for driving with illegal tyres, so should check their tyres at least once a month and before any long journey.
Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
Meanwhile,under the Health and Safety Offences Act introduced in 2009, UK courts have greater authority to prosecute businesses for committing offences such as fitting illegal tyres or faulty brakes. The maximum penalty is now £20,000.
The introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act in 2008 also means that businesses can no longer afford to ignore the impact of driving in relation to health and safety in the workplace.
Jackson added: “Last year in the UK, more than 1,200 road casualties resulted from accidents where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
“But what’s really galling is that many of these accidents might have been avoided through simple tyre checks.”
For more information about TyreSafe and tyre safety visit tyresafe.org