Bridgestone Survey Reveals Cost of Under-Inflated Tyres
Europeans’ concern about the spiralling cost of fuel is being exacerbated by the state of motorists’ tyres according to research conducted by Bridgestone. According to the manufacturer, four billion litres – worth approximately £4.6 billion – of fuel are being wasted every year due to the under-inflated tyres of four in every five motorists. This inadequate tyre care does not just affect motorists’ wallets; the wasted fuel equates to 9.3 million tonnes of unnecessary CO2 emissions, and therefore increases the harm to the environment caused by motoring. The findings come from safety checks carried out on 52,400 cars in 15 E.U countries in 2009.
The Bridgestone results show 81 per cent of motorists are driving on under-inflated tyres. This habit is leading to the equivalent of 3.47 g/km of unnecessary additional CO2 emissions a year for every car on Europe’s roads. The tyre safety checks were conducted on 52,400 vehicles by Bridgestone at shopping centres and public car parks in 15 European countries last year. They form part of the ‘Think Before You Drive’ road safety education campaign launched in 2005 as a worldwide joint initiative between the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Foundation, Bridgestone Corporation and national motoring clubs. The campaign’s scope has increased more than five-fold since that year, when 8,700 vehicles were checked in ten countries.
The test results also show that over a quarter (26.5 per cent) of motorists are driving on what Bridgestone calls “seriously under-inflated tyres” (at least 0.5 bar below vehicle constructor recommended pressure) and 7.5 per cent are putting their safety at greater risk by driving on “severely under-inflated tyres” (at least 0.75 bar below recommended pressure). Almost 17 per cent of tyres on the road are also worn down below the EU legal minimum of 1.6 mm tread depth. Around 9 per cent of inspected tyres are both severely worn and severely under inflated.