Bridgestone has expanded its Retorque wheel safety and security app to cover the commercial vehicle operator market.
The app provides the correct torque settings for wheels at the swipe of a mobile phone or tablet. It also now includes wheel security data from all main van manufacturers.
Andy Mathias, product and marketing manager for Bridgestone, said: “Bridgestone recognises the increasing importance of van wheel security in this fast growing sector.
"Providing up-to-date data is an area of support that our fleet customers and Bridgestone partners alike were looking for.
“The feedback from our users is that the app is convenient to use, so it made sense for us to expand this to the van sector. We’re confident it will prove to be a success and will help out a great many more fleets in the future.”
The safety implications from a detaching wheel from a truck, bus or trailer can be fatal, with research from road safety charity Brake highlighting the significance of the issue.
It’s estimated that several hundred wheel detachments occur each year in the UK, mostly involving large commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses.
According to Brake, one in six (16%) wheel loss incidents causes injury and one in 24 (4%) causes death.
If a wheel becomes detached while the vehicle is moving it can accelerate up to 93mph and would hit an oncoming vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist with incredible force. It can also cause the driver who has lost the wheel to lose control and crash.
Mathias added that overtightening was equally dangerous as under-tightening, as this can cause studs to crack and wheels to become loose thereafter.