Drivers advised to follow the ‘blue light’ lead on tyre replacement
should follow the example of the emergency services when it comes to tyre
replacement, according to Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and
16% of the UK’s ‘blue light’ services allow the tyres on their emergency
vehicle fleets to go below 2.5mm of tread before being changed, despite them
remaining legal to 1.6mm.
fact, new research from a Freedom of Information request made to all
police forces, NHS ambulance service and fire and rescue services revealed
by Kwik Fit revealed that on average the emergency services changed their
vehicle tyres at a tread depth of 2.74mm.
research showed that almost three quarters (73%) of the UK’s police, fire and
ambulance services changed their vehicles tyres at a tread depth of 2.6mm to
the upper end of that band, the tread is nearly double the UK’s legal minimum
requirement of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread around the
complete circumference of the tyre. However, a total of 10% of forces go beyond
that, changing vehicle tyres between 3.1-3.5mm (6%) and 3.6-4mm (4%).
findings reveal that of the 95 organisations responding to the request, two
thirds (67%) had a formal policy in place, while the remainder (33%) had an
ambulance services had the strictest protocols, with 73% having a formal policy
laid down. 82% of the ambulance fleets either mandated or recommended
tyres were changed at a tread depth between 2.6mm and 3mm.
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 were
changed between 2.6mm and 3mm respectively.
study covered a total emergency vehicle population in excess of 42,000 across
the UK giving, what Kwik Fit called, “an accurate representation of the immense
focus the emergency services place on tyre condition”.
findings, Kwik Fit said, were “very encouraging”, given the significant effect
tyre tread depth have on braking distances and road holding in wet conditions,
however that was something which was neglected by many motorists, said the
research by Kwik Fit found that one in eight (12%) drivers never checked
their tyre tread depth on a regular basis. However, the company says that it is
vital that motorists start getting into the habit of regular vehicle safety
checks, similar to those carried out by the emergency services.
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.
research has shown that the emergency services uniformly change their vehicle
tyres at a much earlier point than the legal limit as a tyre’s performance
starts to deteriorate well before it becomes illegal.
on a ‘blue light’ call our emergency services cannot compromise on safety, but
we don’t think any other motorist should either, whether it’s a motorway run or
just a trip to the shops.”