UK Drivers Amongst the Least Attentive to Tyre Pressure – Michelin
Michelin’s year long study into tyre pressure has revealed that the proportion of cars on British roads with tyres at an incorrect pressure could be as high as 80 per cent, and the pressure in the tyres of half of all cars is incorrect to an extent that renders the vehicle dangerous to operate and an accident risk.
The French manufacturer checked the tyre pressure of thousands of vehicles across 27 European Union countries during its ‘Fill up with Air’ campaign, and results indicate that the UK, ranked 25th out of 27, was near the bottom of the pile in terms of ensuring correct tyre pressure – only Greece and Latvia faired worse. And not only is road safety being jeopardised by our sloppy indifference – major cost implications follow incorrect tyre pressure through increased fuel consumption, a factor that also impacts on our environment.
Peter Snelling, head of communications at Michelin UK, states: “According to Department for Transport statistics 6 per cent of all fatal motorway accidents are caused by under-inflated tyres. Even more frightening is that our survey found that 13 per cent, or more than one in eight cars had at least one puncture. It is the responsibility of every motorist to check and adjust their tyre pressures regularly. It is not an expensive or complicated task and only takes a couple of minutes each week. Don’t forget, air is free!
“As well as the safety risks of half the cars running on dangerously under-inflated tyres, a typical pressure of 10 psi below recommended levels will have the equivalent effect of adding 3p to the cost of a litre of petrol or diesel. This is a totally unnecessary cost for motorists, and it’s the same for the environment. With inadequate pressure fuel consumption increases greatly, in turn leading to an extra 5.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted each year in the UK. This is an unacceptable penalty imposed on our environment through apathy.”
Michelin’s research saw more than 2,300 cars inspected across the UK, with 36 per cent found to have at least one tyre between 7 and 12 psi below the recommended pressure, and 15 per cent at least 14psi or more below the specified level – which is as much as 50 per cent below the correct pressure.
The Michelin ‘Fill up with Air’ campaign is a pan-European educational roadshow designed to bring home the importance of regular tyre pressure checks and adjustment. The campaign will continue in 2008, with more dates and venues being added across the UK.