By Denna Bowman
A staggering 81 per cent of motorists could be driving on under-inflated tyres, according to a survey carried out by Bridgestone.
The Japanese tyres manufacturer made the startling discovery after carrying out its “Think Before You Drive” campaign across 15 European countries last year.
Bridgestone calculated the figure after conducting tyre safety checks on around 52,400 vehicles in the UK and on the Continent.
It claims that neglecting to maintain proper tyre pressure wastes the annual equivalent of four billion litres of fuel and adds 9.3 million tons of unnecessary CO2 emissions to the air we breathe.
Also 26.5 per cent of motorists were found to be driving on what Bridgestone considered to be “seriously under-inflated tyres” – tyres whose air content is at least 0.5 bar below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure – and 7.5 per cent are motoring with tyres at least 0.75 bar below recommended pressure.
Tread depth was also found to be wanting; 16.6 per cent of tyres on checked vehicles were worn down below the EU legal minimum 1.6mm dread depth.
Approximately nine per cent of inspected tyres were both severely worn and severely under inflated, and Bridgestone noted that three per cent of the checked tyres would experience 50 per cent reduced mileage due to under-inflation.