Keeping A Grip On Safety

More than two million motorists in the UK are putting their lives at risk by never checking their tyre pressure or tread according to the RAC Foundation today (16th) at the launch of a two day tyre safety event at the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

The NOP Automotive* carried out for the Foundation also showed:

  • 7% of motorists only check their tyre pressure and tread once a year
  • 15% of women never check their tyres
  • 13% only make checks when going on a long journey
  • 4% make checks every journey
  • 21% every week
  • 49% once a month.
Now North West drivers are being invited to bring along their vehicles to have tyres and other safety components checked, free of charge, by trained technicians at the Trafford Centre today and tomorrow (Friday 16th and Saturday 17th) between 10am &10pm (Fri) and 10am & 8pm (Sat), at an event organised by the Tyre Industry Council which will also include help and advice on many aspects of safe motoring.

Research has also showed that six per cent of all fatal motorway accidents are caused by the sudden failure of under inflated tyres and worn tyres contribute to ten per cent of accidents in the wet.

This problem is exacerbated - as in spot checks it was found that one in three air pressure gauges in petrol stations were not working or had been vandalised. Petrol retailers should provide free, accurate and well-maintained tyre pressure gauges, according to the RAC Foundation after receiving complaints that gauges often are not working.

The NOP survey also found that:

  • Half of all women drivers do not know their recommended tyre pressure
  • 85% of male drivers claim to know their tyre pressure
  • Young drivers (17-24) were least likely to know their recommended tyre pressures.
  • A quarter of high mileage drivers do not know their pressure.
A recent safety campaign carried out by the Tyre Industry Council revealed that ninety per cent of the cars they tested had under or over inflated tyres despite correct pressures being vital to safe handling, optimum steering, braking and grip.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation said:

"Tyre safety is not an optional extra. Tyres are the only contact that the car has with the road and therefore it is essential that they are not worn or under or over inflated. If you are unsure about your tyres or other safety equipment, this is the perfect time to get them checked and put things right in advance of the Winter."

"If more drivers in the North West followed the simple advice given out at this event then many unnecessary injuries and deaths could be prevented."

The RAC Foundation Tyre Pressure Fact File:

  • 20 per cent under-inflation can increase tyre wear by 25 per cent
  • 20 per cent under-inflation can reduce tyre life by 30 per cent
  • 20 per cent under inflation can reduce fuel economy by three per cent
  • 10% of cars are running on illegal tyres (under 1.6mm tread)
  • 90% of tyres are incorrectly inflated
  • Tyre manufacturers estimate that three quarters of accidents caused by "blowouts" are down to incorrect pressures
  • Under-inflated tyres cause a reduction in the overall control of the vehicle and increased braking distances
  • Over–inflated tyres cause poor vehicle handling, reduced stability in braking, cornering and reduced grip
  • Drivers should check their tyres at least once a month.
19 September 2005 Staff

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