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Tyre underinflation

Tyre pressures have a direct impact on a vehicle’s fuel economy, with underinflation increasing both fuel usage and carbon emissions, whilst also posing serious safety risks to motorists and other road users.

Underinflated tyres also wear faster, and with nearly one third of breakdowns due to tyre incidents, research shows that 90% of those are pressure related.

  • A tyre underinflated by 5% will use 0.5% more fuel and achieve just 97% of its expected life
  • A tyre underinflated by 10% will use 1% more fuel and achieve just 90% of its expected life
  • A tyre underinflated by 20% will use 2% more fuel and achieve just 70% of its expected life

 

“According to a recent roadworthiness report commissioned by Highways England and published in 2016, more than 85,000 breakdowns on the UK roads take place every year due to poor vehicle roadworthiness. The report found that almost a third of accidents in which vehicle defects were a contributory factor were due to underinflated, defective or illegal tyres. Studies from different tyre manufacturers show that more than 50% of all passenger cars are driven with underinflated tyres and tests with underinflated tyres show an increase in the risk of adverse safety consequences in emergency situations. Campaigns to increase awareness of the importance of checking tyres could help to reduce vehicle breakdowns and crashes.”

Dr Lisa Dorn PhD; C.Psychol; AFBPsS; MIEHF; FHEA
Associate Professor of Driver Behaviour
Cranfield University

 

The impacts of underinflation
Focus on fleet savings
Safety first

Correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road.

Underinflated tyres affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour. They are also much more likely to suffer from a sudden rapid deflation, especially on high-speed motorway journeys.

By keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure, fleets can also optimise their running costs.

Underinflated tyres require a bigger force to make them turn, so your vehicle burns more fuel. Additionally, tyres which are not set to their correct pressure wear out more quickly. So fitting a tyre pressure monitoring system which helps you to keep on top of your pressures will enable you to benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tyre life and reduced emissions. Plus, from a safety perspective, underinflated tyres pose a serious safety hazard, as they increase braking distances, which could result in the difference between stopping safely and causing a serious accident.

Failing to keep your tyres properly inflated needlessly increases fuel bills – multiply that effect across a whole fleet – and it can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

TyreSafe estimates that in the UK, as much as £700 million of fuel a year is wasted because of under-inflated tyres. When tyres run under-inflated, their rolling resistance – the force that is needed to make them turn – increases. This means the engine must work harder and more fuel is used, making the vehicle less economical.

The air pressure within a set of tyres is the number one factor which determines how well they perform. A tyre’s pressure affects load carrying capacity, speed capability, handling response, wear rate and overall safety. What’s more, under-inflated tyres will cause a vehicle car to use more fuel and emit more CO2 emissions.

It’s therefore critical for your safety and comfort that your tyres are properly inflated in line with the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations. Tyre pressures should be manually checked when they are cold at least once a month or before a long journey.

CALL: +44 (0)1543 415823
Wheely-Safe Ltd,
Ground Floor, 1 Newlands Court
Attwood Road
Burntwood, Staffordshire
WS7 3GF, United Kingdom
Company Registration No. 07184108