Jan 2012: Maintaining the Right Tyre Pressure Important for Safe Driving: AA
The Automobile Association (AA) has warned motorists of the risks of not checking tyre pressure regularly. According to AA Rescue top boss, Mr. Noel Keogh, driving on under inflated tyres is dangerous as it significantly increases the risk of crashing.
AA Roadwatch Survey Reveals Alarming Results
Mr. Keogh made this comment during an interview with the Irish Examiner in response to the results revealed by an AA Roadwatch survey.
Just prior to the holiday season, when most motorists undertake long distance driving journeys either to visit family or for vacation, the AA Roadwatch conducted a survey.
This survey aimed to determine how seriously drivers evaluate their vehicle condition before embarking on a long distance journey. A total of 12300 drivers were questioned as part of this survey.
Surprisingly, a third of the drivers surveyed confessed that they rarely check the pressure on their tyres irrespective of whether they are going on a long journey or whether it is for regular day to day driving.
Interestingly amongst the women drivers surveyed, 37% admitted that they did not pay attention to tyre inflation, while the figure stood at 32% for male drivers. So perhaps men are safer drivers than women, but only just.
What do the Results Indicate
According to Mr. Keogh, failure to check tyre pressure only means that a third of drivers on the road are driving on under inflated tyres. Under inflated tyres pose serious risks as they offer reduced response to braking and thereby increase braking distances. As a result, your control on the vehicle is reduced. While this is a matter of concern at any point, it becomes particularly critical during winter as the road surfaces covered with ice and snow are not exactly ‘driving friendly’.
Other Issues Associated with Under Inflated Tyres
Besides the safety considerations, under inflated tyres also prove to be expensive in the long run. When tyre pressure is low, the rolling resistance of the tyres is increased.
As a result, more fuel is expended to overcome the rolling resistance, which impacts the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Further, under inflated tyres are more prone to punctures, necessitating frequent, expensive repairs.
Also, failure to maintain the right pressure in the tyres affects the life of the tyre, increasing their wear and requiring tyres to be replaced more quickly.
It is best to invest a little time and expense to check the tyre pressure periodically and ensure that tyre inflation is optimal for long term benefits.
Motorists are the Same the World Over
A separate international survey conducted by Hankook Tyres in different parts of the world has revealed more or less the same results.
Hankook surveyed over 2000 vehicle owners across the US, Korea, Germany and China (across continents, as you can see) and the survey results revealed that 35.3% of the respondents fail to regularly check their tyre pressure readings.
While people in the UK and these countries may differ in culture, wining and dining habits, entertainment preferences a host of other issues, apparently they think alike when it comes to checking the pressure of their vehicle tyres.
Interesting, isn’t it?