European drivers increasingly negligent about the maintenance of their tyres

Apr, 28 2013

European drivers increasingly negligent about the maintenance of their tyres

Bridgestone releases alarming statistics.

• Number of underinflated or worn tyres soars in 2012 (increase of 25%)
• 78% of motorists drive on underinflated tyres (compared with 63% in 2011)
• 25% of motorists drive on tyres worn beyond the legal limit (compared with 20% in 2011)
• Financial crisis most likely cause of decline in tyre safety
• Underinflated or worn tyres are both dangerous and uneconomical
• Poor tyre maintenance accounts for billions of litres of wasted fuel and increased CO2 output of 9,2 million tonnes each year

Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer, is concerned about a clear decline in the safety of drivers in Europe due to poor tyre maintenance. Based on the results of over 28 000 free tyre safety checks carried out in 2012 – its 8th consecutive edition – a staggering 78% of vehicles were found to have underinflated tyres while over a quarter had tyres that were worn beyond the legal limit. These alarming figures are even more disturbing, given that they represent an increase of around 25% on 2011. The most likely cause of the increase is the economic crisis, rising fuel prices and declining purchasing power. Nevertheless, Bridgestone warns against the dangers of underinflated and/or worn tyres as incorrect inflation pressure and/or worn tyres compromise safety on the roads by decreasing stability and steering response while increasing braking distances.

Jake Rønsholt, General Manager Corporate & Brand Communications, Bridgestone Europe: “Driving on underinflated tyres is not only dangerous. It is an enormous waste of fuel and the cause of carbon emissions that could easily be avoided by simple, regular checks. Ideally, drivers should check their tyre pressure once a month. And while doing so, it is also a good idea to check tread depth and look out for damage or irregular wear at the same time. Some people tend to forget that driving on underinflated and/or worn tyres may considerably impact handling and braking… Many see tyres as only black and round, a necessity purchase, but we must always bear in mind that they are the only point of contact with the road, and the size of 4 postcards!”

The alarming 2012 statistics represent a significant increase on 2011 where 63% and 20% of motorists were found to have underinflated and illegally worn tyres respectively. That is an increase of around 25% in a single year! The most logical explanation for the increase is the economic crisis in which consumers are less likely to spend money on replacing their tyres in time. By the same token, rising fuel prices and declining purchasing power mean that many motorists drive their cars less often, which means they also fill up – and check their tyres – less often as well.

Ironically, poor tyre maintenance is likely to end up costing more money over time. Underinflated tyres not only wear out faster but are also responsible for an estimated 3.9 billion liters of wasted fuel and 9.2 million tons of unnecessary CO2 emissions per year. Which means increased cost for drivers and society as a whole.

Bridgestone therefore urges motorists to check their tyres regularly, maintain correct inflation pressure and replace worn or damaged tyres before they become a problem.

Bridgestone will continue carrying out free tyre safety checks across Europe in order to raise awareness on the importance of tyre maintenance and its impact on safety, the environment and your savings.

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