The Road Safety Authority (RSA) together with An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), used Tyre Safety Day (Wednesday 5 October), at the ESB Networks Fleet & Equipment offices in Dublin, to highlight the fact that roadworthy tyres not only help avoid the human and financial costs of collisions, but also save you money on fuel economy.
Businesses in particular, can make significant savings to the running costs of their fleet of vehicles by ensuring the tyres on those vehicles are correctly inflated. An under-inflated tyre creates more rolling resistance, meaning it takes more energy and therefore more fuel to drive the vehicle.
Calculations carried out by the ITIA reveal that where the tyres on a vehicle are under-inflated by 20% this can add €17 per month to fuel costs. So, for a company’s fleet of 20 vehicles, under-inflated tyres could add over €4,000 to the annual fuel costs of that business. In addition to fuel efficiency, underinflation of tyres can also negatively impact grip handling and braking performance, increasing the risk of a crash, as well as the wear and lifespan of the tyre.
As part of Irish Road Safety Week, motorists are being encouraged to check their tyres and ensure they are not below the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm (1mm for motorcycles), that they are not damaged and inflated to the correct tyre pressure. Drivers can visit any ITIA dealer nationwide for a free tyre safety check, including a pressure check and tread depth inspection.
Commenting on the initiative Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: “With cost pressures being felt across all sectors of society, it is more important than ever to practice regular tyre maintenance as this can save on fuel costs. Correctly maintained tyres not only save costs, most importantly they can save lives. Tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road and their importance is often overlooked. Ensure your tyres are properly inflated, check the tread depth and that they are free from cracks, tears, or bulges. If your tyres show signs of deterioration, you should have them replaced immediately.”
Neil McGuinness Manager Fleet and Equipment ESB Networks added: “With a Fleet of over 2000 vehicles which are driven in all weather and all road conditions, for us in ESB Networks tyre safety is very important. Good quality tyres, in good condition, correctly inflated and with thread dept well above the legal limit help ensure the safety of our employees and other road users. We also use all weather tyres as a standard on our vans as these provide excellent grip and traction on all road surfaces all year round. Our drivers are expected to check the condition of their tyres as part of their daily vehicle safety checks, to report any problems to our garages immediately and to follow the advice given. Tyre safety is the everyone’s responsibility.”
As the winter months approach, the RSA is reminding road users that tyre grip will become increasingly important when driving in poor weather conditions.
Some general tips on tyre maintenance:
- The minimum legal tread depth for a car is 1.6mm however we recommend that you consider replacing them once they are below 3mm. There is 8 mm of tread on a new tyre. The legal limit for motorcycles is 1mm.
- Poor tyre condition can lead to internal rust, rapid deflation or a possible blow out.
- Look out for, cracks cuts or grazes on the side wall of the tyre. Any visible bulges. Ensure wheels are aligned & balanced
- Don’t forget to check the spare tyre.
Meanwhile the Road Safety Authority calls on public to sign up to European Road Safety Charter
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued a call for individuals and organisations to sign up to the European Road Safety Charter (ERSC). The charter commits members to an EU target of 50% reduction in road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
The charter is open to individuals and organisations to join, whether they already have extensive experience with road safety initiatives or are just making a start. The ERSC offers members access to the resources and tools necessary to help them in their journey and reach targets to reduce road casualties and serious injuries by 50% by 2030. The public are encouraged to join the charter by registering online: LINK
The RSA has been appointed as National Relay for the ERSC in Ireland, a role that includes the promotion of the ERSC and increasing membership and commitments at national level. In addition to this the National Relay encourages knowledge sharing of road safety initiatives and the exchange of good practices among signatories in Ireland, urging both civil society and institutions to adopt effective measures that improve road safety.
The European Road Safety Charter, led by the European Commission, is the largest civil society platform on road safety with the mission of developing a road safety community with an ultimate vision of reducing deaths and serious injuries on the EU roads. Around 3,500 companies, associations, local authorities, research institutions, universities, and schools have committed to the Charter, and their actions have strengthened road safety culture across Europe, improved knowledge about the causes of collisions, and helped to create preventative measures and solutions. In 2021, Ireland was fourth in the European Union in terms of road safety with 27 deaths per million inhabitants.