By Denna Bowman
A staggering 71 per cent of cars are not ready for holiday driving, according to research carried out by a leading tyres manufacturer.
Bridgestone made the alarming discovery after carrying out 38,000 tyres safety checks on vehicles in nine European countries.
While 71% of motorists are driving on under-inflated tyres, almost 12% of tyres on the road are also worn down below the EU legal minimum of 1.6 mm tread depth, according to the study.
Des Collins, Vice President European Communications Office, Bridgestone Europe, said: “These figures are particularly alarming at this time of year as families set off on long journeys with heavily-loaded cars. It is important for the safety of motorists that they check their tyres before leaving.”
Driving on low tyre pressure is a bad habit for several reasons: it puts safety at risk because it reduces vehicle handling control; it lowers tyre durability and wear life; and it adds to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
At a time when millions of families in Europe are about to make their longest journey of the year, Bridgestone advises all motorists to follow these elementary rules for safe and green driving:
• Check your tyre pressure before setting off on holiday – Recommended levels can be found inside the fuel filler flap, in the driver’s door or in the vehicle owner manual. Check your tyres when they are cold and remember that pressure needs to be higher when the car is loaded with passengers and luggage.
• Check tyre pressure after your holiday too – Heat and long journeys can affect pressure. Generally tyre pressure and tread depth should be checked once a month.
• Do not over-inflate your tyres – The pressure will rise by 0.3 bar when they are warm. An over-inflated tyre is less able to withstand shocks.