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Michelin says 4 in 10 British drivers have dangerously under-inflated tyres

Michelin and Kwik Fit have conducted a survey on UK motorists’ tyre pressures with alarming results.

Michelin checks tyre pressure on a parked car.

Michelin checked the tyre pressures on more than 500 vehicles parked in Tesco car parks. © Michelin

More than 500 cars tested

Last October, as part of Tyre Safety Month, the charity TyreSafe launched a campaign to raise awareness about under-inflated tyres. Now, it’s the turn of Michelin and Kwik Fit to warn drivers about this issue. Out of 500 everyday cars inspected in Tesco car parks, almost 28% had at least one “dangerous” tyre, with a pressure between 7 and 14 PSI below the manufacturer’s recommendation. Worse still, 12 % had at least one “very dangerous” tyre, 14 PSI or more below the recommended pressure. Overall, it was estimated that 4 out of 10 cars are being driven with under-inflated tyres.

 

Safety and performance compromised

“Driving around on under-inflated tyres costs money and it can cost lives” said Jamie McWhir, Michelin UK technical manager. Tough words, but close to the reality. Under-inflated, a tyre wears more quickly and consumes more fuel than normal. But above all, braking distances are much longer, the risk of aquaplaning increases and handling is seriously hampered. 

Michelin estimates that under-inflated tyres consume an additional 17 litres of fuel per motorist each year. For a town the size of Manchester, which counts 245 000 drivers, the additional cost could be over £2.6 million per year.

Learn when and how to inflate your tyres with our practical guide to tyre pressure.

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