Record fuel prices needn’t add ‘pressure’ to motorists
While beleaguered UK motorists are now paying on average a staggering 144.67p per litre for diesel, higher than the previous record during last year’s ‘Arab Spring’, and according to industry analysts a new high of 137.44p per litre for unleaded petrol, it needn’t be all doom and gloom.
TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, points out that apart from improved safety and the reduced risk of experiencing a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, correctly inflated tyres provide lower running costs. This is because the rolling resistance of an under-inflated tyre increases meaning that a bigger force or more energy is needed to make it turn.
Indeed, calculations from one TyreSafe member show that when tyres are under-inflated by just 20 per cent (around 6psi), 3 per cent more fuel is used. It was recently estimated that in the UK as much as £337 million of fuel is wasted each year as a result of driving on under-inflated tyres.
What’s more when driving on under-inflated tyres, the tyre’s contact patch with the road surface is reduced to two smaller areas towards the outer edges of the tread. Not only does this reduce safety but also cuts tyre life significantly.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “Not only are correct tyre pressures essential from a road safety perspective, they are also very important for lower fuel bills, longer tyre life and reduced CO2 emissions. Checking pressures is a quick and easy job and should be done at least once a month or before a long journey.”
TyreSafe also point out that correct wheel alignment can also help reduce fuel bills further. By ensuring that the tyres all point in the correct direction, any scrubbing action with the road surface can be minimised, further improving fuel efficiency and reducing tyre wear.
Correct pressures for your car can be found in the driver’s handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on a plate on the drvier’s door sill. TyreSafe has also developed a free iPhone app and online database where drivers simply need to input their registration details to receive their correct pressure details.