As campaigning months go, October is probably one of the busiest. First there is Stoptober, which is aimed at encouraging smokers to quit cigarettes and then there’s Sober October, the name speaks for itself.
But it is also Tyre Safety Month and this year rather than giving up a bad habit, motorists are being urged to get into the routine of starting a good one, namely carrying out regular tyre pressure tests.
It’s not an easy sell this one, there are no celebrities or cool t-shirts to add a bit of glamour to this campaign, but we have to applaud TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre charity which spearheads the event, for coming up with a witty campaign message: Are you having a Good or Bad Air Day?
The chances are the answer is the latter, because more than half the tyres on Britain’s cars and vans are being driven under-inflated. So what, you might think, it’s not exactly going to put your life at risk or harm others because of your neglect.
But sadly it is!
Driving on incorrectly inflated tyres increases your chances of being involved in a tyre-related incident on the roads, because it makes your vehicle more difficult to control, compromising grip and ultimately taking longer to stop, especially in the wet. This of course puts your safety, plus that of your passengers and other road users at risk.
And there are other serious consequences too, like the fact that research by TyreSafe shows that drivers are wasting an extra £600 million on fuel bills because their tyres are under-inflated. And on top of this, wrongly inflated tyres are also bad for the environment, adding to the amount of CO2 the vehicle burns.
So driving on incorrectly inflated tyres means you are putting yourself and others at risk, throwing money away and causing excess pollution!
To reduce the risks while driving and save yourself money, you just need to get into the habit of checking the air pressures at least once a month and certainly before long journeys.
Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Keeping tyres properly inflated is easy to do, keeps drivers and other road users safe, and saves money. It’s a win-win situation so it’s remarkable how many motorists don’t ensure the pressures are correct for the vehicle and the load it is carrying.
“Tyre Safety Month is the ideal time to start the routine of ensuring every driving day is a good air day.”
Vehicles typically have two tyre pressure settings. These will need to be adjusted depending on whether the vehicle is fully loaded or has a light load. Most vehicles have these displayed either in the fuel filler cap or door jamb. They will also be in the owner’s handbook.
Denna Bowman, Head Office