i247 Group Study Shows 10% Increase in Vans with Low Tyre Treads

The i247 Group, a Poole-based outsourced driver support and asset management provider, has reported a concerning rise in the number of vans with dangerously low tyre treads. According to their data, there has been a significant increase in light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with tyre tread depths under two millimetres. This represents a 10 percent increase over the last five years, from 30 percent in 2019 to 40 percent in 2023. This trend is not only alarming due to the inherent safety risks but also because it has led to a higher number of tyre defects resulting in MOT failures, especially on Class 5 vehicles such as minibuses and ambulances​​​​.

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Published on
December 20, 2023

David Legg, the director of tyres at i247 Group, expressed serious concerns about this trend. He emphasised the importance of regular tyre checks, particularly for van fleets, noting that many are operating with tyre treads at illegal levels. He highlighted the added pressure on van fleets but urged the necessity of allowing drivers time for critical tyre checks. These checks are crucial, especially during high-delivery volume periods. Legg also pointed out the legal responsibilities of fleet operators and drivers in maintaining vehicle roadworthiness, including the condition of tyres.

In the UK, the legal requirement for tyre tread depth on vans is a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread and around its entire circumference. Drivers found in breach of this regulation can face a personal fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. While the legal minimum is 1.6mm, it's often recommended to maintain at least 3mm of tread for safety reasons​​.

The rise in vans with low tyre treads as reported by i247 Group poses significant safety risks. Low tread depth affects a vehicle’s braking efficiency and surface grip, especially in wet or winter conditions. Additionally, tyres with low tread are more prone to punctures and air pressure loss, impacting fuel economy and steering. These factors underscore the importance of regular tyre maintenance and adherence to legal requirements to ensure road safety and compliance with the law.

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