Tyre maker Bridgestone South Africa has called on the motoring public to check their tyre pressures at least every two weeks. The plea comes in the wake of a tyre survey which showed that nearly one in five tyres is dangerously over- or under-inflated. The survey, which was conducted in the car park of Pick n Pay Verulam in Durban on October 1, was the third leg of Bridgestone’s Tyre Check initiative for 2011.
“Our tyre specialists checked 436 tyres on 109 vehicles for condition and pressure,” said Bridgestone Public Relations Manager, Mandy Lovell. “Bridgestone has been conducting these surveys since 2007, and although there has been a slight improvement over the years, we are concerned at the results of this latest survey,” she added.
In the Verulam survey, 20% of tyres fitted on each rear wheel position, on both the left and right of the vehicle, were found to be incorrectly inflated with 16% of these tyres being in the “extremely dangerous” bracket. Tyre pressures between 1.8 bars and 2.9 bars are classed as acceptable for the purposes of the survey, with pressures between 1.5 and 1.7 bars regarded as dangerous, and pressures below 1.5 bars (or over 2.9 bars) considered extremely dangerous.
The survey also revealed that 14 percent of tyres in the front left wheel position and 15% in the front right wheel position were not correctly inflated. Overall, 55 tyres fell into the ‘extremely dangerous’ bracket, with 28 being above 2.9 bars, and 27 below 1.5 bars.
Lovell explained that severe over-inflation leads to reduced traction, and makes tyres less resistant to punctures from road debris such as stones. She added that tyres that are under-inflated are even more dangerous, because they develop excessive heat which weakens the tyre and may cause it to fail suddenly. Under-inflation of tyres, especially on overloaded vehicles, is a leading cause of tyre blowouts.
“Dangerously under-inflated tyres reduce tyre life and increase crash risk,” Lovell said. “We appeal to motorists: if you haven’t checked your tyre pressures for longer than two weeks, please do it today. Tomorrow may be too late.”
** Tyre pressure : 1 bar = 100kPa
We would like to urge all vehicle owners to pay close attention to tyre safety and view the following sections: