5 Million British Cars Driven On Under Pressurised Tyres

Kwik-Fit today urged Britain’s motorists to get their tyre pressure regularly checked after a nationwide spot check* carried out by the company found that millions of car drivers are putting themselves and others at risk by driving on under inflated tyres.

Indeed, one-in-five cars checked by the company had insufficient tyre pressure - equating to some five million cars nationally. That’s significantly more than the combined amount of cars registered in the whole of Scotland and Wales**.

Driving a car that has an under inflated tyre can result in sudden tyre failure, such as a blowout or tread damage, which can lead to potential loss of control of the vehicle. Motorists with an under inflated tyre may also experience poor handling and braking performance.

According to Kwik-Fit an under inflated tyre can easily go undetected from a visual inspection. To be safe motorists should regularly check the pressure of their tyres using the specialist equipment available in many garage forecourts or by visiting a local Kwik-Fit centre where an expert will be on hand to do it for them.

In its study Kwik-Fit defined an under inflated car as having one or more tyres containing at least 3psi under the correct pressure stipulated in the car manufacturer’s handbook - according to the weight being carried. This is only 10%-15% less than the recommended inflation for most car tyres - barely noticeable even to a trained eye.

David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, commented:

“Many drivers probably aren’t aware that amongst other dangers, under inflated tyres can lead to a blow-out - where a tyre suddenly explodes during transit. Any motorist that has had this happen to them will know it is an extremely alarming situation to be in and has the potential to cause a serious accident.”

He continues:

“Motorists might be fooled into thinking that they can check whether a tyre is under-inflated simply by looking at it. But a smaller, yet nonetheless still significant loss of pressure is not always possible to visually detect. That’s why it’s so important to regularly check the tyre pressure yourself, or have an expert check them for you.”

Any motorist who is unsure about how to check tyre pressure for themselves or would like a tyre safety check is welcome to visit any of Kwik-Fit’s 670 centres nationwide, without appointment, for a free check-up.

12 March 2007 Staff

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