TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety charity, launched its campaign focusing on van tyre safety at its annual Briefing at St George’s Park, home of the National Football Centre.

There are now more than 4 million vans on Britain’s roads, 60% more than at the turn of the millennium, and they clock up millions miles on UK roads every week. According to the SMMT, vans contribute £56 billion annually to the UK economy.

Whether a mobile workshop, business, courier’s workhorse or delivery wagon, vans place high demands on their tyres.

TyreSafe is reminding their drivers ‘Britain works on tyres’ and the need for them to ensure they conduct regular checks and consider how much load is being carried to avoid overloading.

Overloading is the most common offence identified at DVSA roadside checks and can result in fines of over £800. Overloading also accounts for 70% of prohibitions on LCVs – removing vans from the road.

Overloading is a major safety risk. If a van is heavier than its weight limit, it will become unstable on the road and put added stress on the tyres. The excess weight changes a tyre’s shape, leading to a build-up of heat when the vehicle is in operation. This can ultimately lead to a catastrophic failure in the tyre.

Tyre pressure must also be correctly adjusted for the load. It’s not only safer but reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which is good for business and the environment.

Attention should also be paid to the tyres’ general condition. It is near impossible to complete a journey on Britain’s roads without coming across a pothole and these can severely damage tyres. Each tyre should be inspected for lumps and cuts on the walk around before every journey.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “TyreSafe’s annual Briefing has provided the ideal opportunity to engage a wide range of stakeholders directly on the importance of van tyre safety. We’re grateful to the DVSA for sharing its data and case studies with us today and underlining how overloading is far too common on our roads. TyreSafe hopes that by sharing this message with van drivers we can help affect a change in attitude among them to consider their safety and the safety of others on the roads, as their first priority.

For more information: contact pr@tyresafe.org or visit www.tyresafe.org