Annual campaign highlights the safety implications of under-inflated tyres

12.00 | 2 October 2017 | | 3 comments

TyreSafe has launched Tyre Safety Month 2017 with a warning that more than half of the tyres on Britain’s cars and vans could be under-inflated.

The annual event runs throughout October and this year aims to highlight the importance of correct tyre pressure by asking drivers ‘are you having a good or bad air day?’.

The campaign, which also stresses the negative financial implications of under-inflated tyres, encourages drivers to check their tyre pressures at least once a month, and before long journeys.

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, says it is ‘remarkable how many motorists don’t ensure the pressures are correct for the vehicle and the load it is carrying’.

The not-for-profit tyre safety awareness organisation points to research which suggests that a ‘shocking’ 35% of tyres are being driven at least 8psi below the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendation.

TyreSafe says at this level of underinflation tyres are more vulnerable to damage and wear more quickly, and the vehicle is more difficult to control.

Its research also shows that when pressures are 7psi below the recommended setting, this can halve the amount of tyre in contact with the road – which TyreSafe says can be ‘especially dangerous’ in the wet as the chances of aquaplaning are significantly increased.

The research suggests that Britain’s motorists could be spending as much as £600m a year on ‘unnecessary’ fuel bills – as a result of higher levels of consumption caused by driving below recommended inflation limits.

Stuart Jackson said: “Keeping tyres properly inflated is easy to do, keeps drivers and other road users safe, and saves money. It’s a win-win situation so it’s remarkable how many motorists don’t ensure the pressures are correct for the vehicle and the load it is carrying.

“Tyre Safety Month is the ideal time to start the routine of ensuring every driving day is a good air day.”

Categories: Vehicles & technology.



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    Generally car and motorcycle tyres start around the 30/32 mark, motorcycle rear tyres around the 36 mark. A couple of psi either way will in general not have any significant effect oo the steering or handling abilities. However when we get toward the lower pressures at or below 20 psi then certainly there could be a problem with fast or slow steering. There could be the problem of fighting the stering wheel or handlebars on bends or corners and certainly some effect upon braking particularly the motorcyles wheels from losing grip and sliding the machine all over the place. Not a nice feeling when both wheels are losing grip. If a motorcycle’s tyres are constantly ridden with lower than say 2 psi off pressure there is a chance that the wheel will become as we say squared off, like a car tyre and that means that all bends become increasingly difficult as the tyre will have two edges that it shouldn’t have and when weighted over that could mean a loss of grip and no one wants a loss of grip on bends.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    Coincidentally, I’ve just checked my tyre pressures this morning. One was 19 psi instead of 30 psi. Last time, the same tyre was down to 15 psi – perhaps I should count myself lucky to be alive. Funny though, the car always behaved exactly the same afterwards as it did before.

    There’s a danger that campaigns like this could give people a false sense of security suggesting that somehow having tyres in tip-top condition is all they need to do to be accident free – that’s the drivers’ role.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Even if your tyres don’t leak air, tyre pressures will be at least a couple of PSI lower now than one/two months ago simply due to the cooler autumn days.

    Pat, Wales
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