By Oliver Hall
Ireland has been branded one of the worst European countries for tyres safety by a leading manufacturer.
An alarming 56 per cent of drivers in Ireland are driving with dangerous or very dangerously under-inflated tyres, according to the results of Michelin’s 2009 Fill Up With Air campaign.
Tyres are classified as dangerous if between 8 – 14psi under-inflated and very dangerous if more than14psi under-inflated.
The sixth annual Fill Up With Air tyre safety roadshow, took to the roads this summer, visiting six cities across Ireland including Dublin, Galway and Limerick to offer drivers a free tyre pressure check and a free fill-up for those with under-inflated tyres.
More than 750 cars were checked during the six day visit and just 18 per cent were found to be driving on correctly inflated tyres, 56 per cent were found to be driving with dangerous or very dangerously under-inflated tyres, while a shocking seven per cent were driving with punctures.
Compared to the UK’s figure of 36 per cent driving with dangerous tyres, Ireland stands out as one of the worst European countries for tyre safety.
Peter Snelling, Michelin’s head of communications, said: “Tyres are the only thing keeping a car on the road and it’s all too easy for drivers to take them for granted and not treat them with the utmost care and attention that they deserve.
“This year’s Fill Up With Air campaign figures have, as we predicted, shown a slight deterioration from 2008 which even then positioned Ireland as one of the worst offenders for tyre safety in Europe. We believe this downward trend could be partly due to the economic climate as drivers try to save money wherever they can.”
This is a false economy in terms of safety and fuel costs. Incorrectly inflated tyres, bald tyres and damaged tyres are dangerous and can lead to accidents. Also, poorly maintained tyres have a serious impact on the environment as cars consume more fuel to overcome the increased rolling resistance.
Snelling added: “The Michelin message to Fill Up With Air needs to get through. With petrol prices hurting everyone and the overall cost of motoring rising, it makes so much sense to regularly attend to this simple ma