Correct tyre pressures help drivers to stay on track

21thOct08Drivers are facing an increased risk of being involved in a serious or even fatal accident by failing to regularly check their tyre pressures. This stark warning has been issued by TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, as part of Tyre Safety Month, which is being held throughout October.
“Although the majority of motorists are uninterested in their vehicle’s tyres, it is important to remember that they are a complex component of the vehicle that have been engineered to work in harmony with the vehicle’s sophisticated brake, steering and suspension systems and must be taken seriously,” explains Rob Beddis, chairman, TyreSafe. “Without regularly ensuring that tyres are correctly inflated, motorists risk compromising the way that their car behaves on the road. The first time they may become aware of this performance deficit could be when they lose control of the vehicle on an innocuous bend and are heading towards a hedgerow or into the path of an oncoming vehicle.”

While many motorists understand that insufficient tread depth can hamper a vehicle’s stopping distance, many are unaware of the effect that tyre pressure can have on vehicle performance. For a car travelling at 30mph, the tyre’s contact patch has only fourteen hundredths of a second to do its job, so any influential factor such as under-inflation can produce significant changes in vehicle behaviour. When a tyre is under-inflated, the tyre contains insufficient air to support the weight of the vehicle properly, which adversely affects acceleration, braking and cornering.

New research conducted by TyreSafe highlights that reduced vehicle performance may be affecting more than half of motorists on the UK’s roads, as this was the number who admitted to not checking their tyre pressures in the last month, the maximum period recommended by TyreSafe between checks.

“Checking tyre pressures is a simple maintenance activity that is free and takes only a few minutes each month to complete,” adds Beddis. “By following these guidelines, motorists can ensure that their vehicle continues to behave in the way it should and they can continue to drive safely on the roads without any dramatic loss of performance.”

Motorists who are unsure of how to check their tyre pressures should visit one of the many tyre fitting centres and garages across the UK that are offering free tyre checks throughout Tyre Safety Month. For further information on tyre pressure, tyre safety or Tyre Safety Month, visit www.tyresafe.org

TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the dangers of defective and worn tyres. TyreSafe has campaigned consistently to underline the importance of tyre safety for more than 15 years and was rewarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2001.

TyreSafe receives positive support from many major tyre manufacturers and retailers, and has been credited with reducing the number of defective tyres in the UK over the past decade from 18 percent to 12 percent.

Notes
TyreSafe offer the following advice for checking tyre pressures correctly:
1. Check your tyre pressure at least once a month.
2. Tyre pressure should be checked against the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level. This can be found in the vehicle handbook and on a plate which is often located inside the fuel filler flap or on the driver’s door sill.
3. Check the pressure when tyres are cold (i.e. when you have travelled less than two miles).
4. If you are carrying a full load of passengers or luggage or will be towing a trailer or caravan, tyre pressures should be increased in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Details can be found in the handbook.
5. Ensure a reliable and accurate pressure gauge is used.
6. Check the pressure in all four tyres not forgetting to check the spare tyre as well.
7. While checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a visual inspection. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread. Look out for any bulges, lumps or cuts.
8. If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition take your vehicle to an approved fitting centre and speak to the experts.

TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the dangers of defective and worn tyres. TyreSafe has campaigned consistently to underline the importance of tyre safety for more than 15 years and was rewarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2001.

TyreSafe receives positive support from many major tyre manufacturers and retailers, and has been credited with reducing the number of defective tyres in the UK over the past decade from 18% to 12%.

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This article was posted on 20th July 2011 in Latest News

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