Tread Carefully This Winter With Complimentary Tyre Checks From VolksWagen Van Centres
By Maddy Price
Friday, November 13, 2015 - 13:53
As storm Abigail makes her way across the Atlantic and drivers in the UK are expecting to face the worst winter in 50 years, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is helping businesses to prepare for the harsh winter months by offering a complimentary tyre check until 28 February 2016, to ensure the tread and pressures are up to scratch.
One in five drivers have never checked their tyres, according to research by TyreSafe, and nearly 10 million dangerous and illegal tyres are likely to be driven on UK roads this year*. It’s not just extreme conditions that can affect tyre performance; cold and damp roads can dramatically lessen traction on the road, and potentially cause accidents.
To help businesses this winter Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has compiled a tyre safety checklist:
Check the tread
Although the legal limit for tread depth is 1.6mm, the recommendation during winter is 3mm, as once below this point the stopping distance can increase dramatically. A simple way to check the tread is to place a 20p coin into the tread of the tyre and if the outer band of the coin isn’t visible, you are above the legal limit.
Don’t be deflated
Tyre pressure should be checked every month and more often if travelling long distances. The cold weather causes tyre pressure to drop, which can affect the handling of the vehicle. Tyre pressure checks should be carried out on cold tyres, and tyres inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which can be found in the owner’s handbook.
Make the switch
Companies should consider making the switch to winter tyres to avoid costly downtime due to winter related accidents. Winter tyres are designed to improve vehicle performance when temperatures drop below 7°C. They deliver up to three times the grip of standard tyres, which can help reduce accidents and skidding on not just snow but also in cold, wet and icy conditions.
Take a load off
Transporting heavy payloads can also have an impact on tyres with increased pressure causing excessive wear and tear and increasing stopping distances. Research commissioned by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles earlier this year found that half of the UK’s three million van drivers are overloading their vans and potentially putting themselves and other road users at risk. When carrying a heavy load check your vehicle handbook as it may recommend inflating tyres to a higher level before setting off.
Trevor Hodgson-Phillips, Head of Service and Parts at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, commented: “With tyres being the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road, their performance can have a knock-on effect on the whole vehicle’s driving performance. To give our customers that added peace-of-mind we are offering complimentary tyre checks until 28th of February throughout our Van Centre and Authorised Repairer network.”