By Denna Bowman
UK motorists who have been hit by the recent fuel price hikes should heed the warning from Bridgestone tyres to get better value for money at the pumps.
According a study by the Japanese tyres manufacturer, European drivers are wasting 4 billion litres of fuel – worth around £4.6 billion – every year due to under-inflated tyres.
The startling statistics were collated from Bridgestone’s safety checks which were carried out on 52,400 cars in 15 countries across Europe last year.
It also shows inadequate tyre care wastes 9.3 million tonnes of unnecessary CO2 emissions.
Driving on under-inflated tyres not only increases rolling resistance and vehicle fuel consumption, Bridgestone stressed, it also causes loss of vehicle handling control and increase in vehicle drift rises sharply when tyre pressure is reduced and can have a negative effect on tyre durability, due to excessive shear stress in the tyre shoulder and heat build-up from sidewall bending – these factors can lead to tyre failure.
They car checks formed part of the “Think Before You Drive” road safety education campaign launched in 2005, a worldwide joint initiative between the FIA Foundation (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), Bridgestone Corporation and national motoring clubs.