Efforts to educate on the benefits of correctly inflated tyres seem to be falling upon deaf ears – Michelin has found that almost 80 per cent of cars on British roads are running with incorrect tyre pressure and over half have levels considered dangerous. This mind-boggling news comes courtesy of a nationwide inspection survey conducted by the manufacturer, during which more than 2,300 cars were inspected at 13 venues in the UK. From this sample population, 36 per cent were found to have at least one tyre between 7 and 12 psi below the recommended pressure, and an additional 15 per cent had a tyre at least 14psi or more below the specified level – potentially only 50 per cent of the recommended safe level of inflation. Furthermore, 13 per cent of all vehicles had a tyre containing a puncture.
“This is an appalling state of affairs for British motorists,” says Peter Snelling, head of Communications, Michelin UK. “It is the responsibility of every motorist to check and adjust his or her tyre pressures regularly. It is not an expensive or complicated task and only needs a couple of minutes effort each week.
“Motorists complain about the state of the roads and the penal cost of motoring but are simply lazy when it comes to the most basic road safety precaution. If we all drove with the correct tyre pressures we would save £2billion in fuel costs and contribute to reducing CO2 emission by 5.5million tonnes per year. Effectively running on tyres 10psi below the recommended level adds a cost equivalent to an extra 3p a litre of fuel. And air is free!”
Michelin operate its “Fill up with air” campaign across Europe to bring home the importance of regular tyre pressure checks and adjustment. However our results during the campaign’s four years have been abysmal: The UK is ranked 25 out of 27 countries in terms of the proportion of vehicles found to have correctly inflated tyres during the period between 2003 and 2007. Germany topped the chart, with only one car in eight there found to have under inflated tyres.