More than 60% of UK Drivers Soft on Tyre Pressure, Says Michelin
Michelin has taken its “Fill up with Air” roadshow throughout the UK and Ireland, checking and adjusting drivers’ tyre pressures in a campaign intended to highlight the potential safety benefits, fuel savings and reduced emissions that are directly related to having the car’s tyre pressures correctly set. A disturbing statistic to emerge from the roadshow is, says Michelin, that more than 60 per cent of cars on British roads are running with incorrect tyre pressure; 35 per cent have dangerously under-inflated tyres.
Results from previous years revealed 80 per cent of British drivers to be negligent in this area, thus some improvement has been seen in 2008, however Michelin remarks that there is still clearly room for improvement in regards to maintaining tyre pressure. Out of the more than 2,600 vehicles checked at more than 17 locations, 65 per cent had incorrect pressures, including 7 per cent over inflated, 35 per cent were found to have pressure more than 7psi below recommended pressure, with 10 per cent more than 14psi below. In addition, 5 per cent had a puncture.
Running tyres inflated 30 per cent below the recommended pressure gives a sharp increase in the risk of aquaplaning on wet roads, comments Michelin. Low pressure also affects the car’s handling and reduces cornering ability, and can cause a build up of excess heat that can permanently weaken the tyre’s structure, possibly causing it to fail. Twenty per cent of a car’s fuel consumption, or one tank in every five, is used to overcome the rolling resistance of tyres. Low tyre pressures increase this resistance force, leading to increased fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and tyre wear.
“The Michelin message to Fill up with Air needs to get through,” says Peter Snelling, head of Communications at Michelin UK. “With petrol prices hurting everyone and the overall cost of motoring rising, it makes so much sense to regularly attend to this very simple maintenance job. Checking and correcting tyre pressures once a month and before long journeys can save lives as well as money.”