Johannesburg (December 3, 2012)

Bridgestone South Africa’s programme of Tyre Check surveys for 2012 wound down with the final event of the year being held in November in the car park of Pick and Pay’s Ottery branch near Cape Town. A total of 1220 tyres on 305 vehicles were checked for condition, tread depth and inflation pressure.

As with previous surveys, each tyre checked was classified as ‘fine’ (inflation pressure between 180 kPa and 290 kPa) , ‘dangerous’ (below 180 kPa but above 150 kPa) or ‘extremely dangerous’ (below 150 kPa or above 290 kPa). Every tyre was also checked for general safety, such as cuts or bulges and excessive tread wear.

“The 2012 Tyre Check season saw numerous new records set for tyre condition and pressure, including a record 95 percent of tyres classified as ‘fine’ during the Carnival Mall event in February,” said Bridgestone PR Manager, Mandy Lovell. “Unfortunately, the Ottery event went against this trend and we are worried by the high percentage of tyres classified as ‘extremely dangerous’”

Fully 15 percent of the tyres checked fell into the ‘extremely dangerous’ category, with another three percent classified as ‘dangerous’. This meant that only 82 percent of tyres were correctly inflated, which is the lowest percentage since the Rustenburg event two and a half years ago, and the fifth-lowest of the 22 Tyre Check events held since 2007.

Lovell said a further concern was that seven percent of tyres were classified as ‘unsafe’ due to worn tread or damage to the carcasses. This is also the highest percentage seen in this category for almost two years.

“The overall picture is that tyre condition in the Ottery region is in a very concerning state,” she said. “ We appeal to motorists in the area to ensure that their tyres are correctly inflated to prevent excessive treadwear and improve roadholding, and that they replace damaged or worn tyres to ensure continued safety,” she added.

Lovell said that the poor results at Ottery should not take the shine off the general improvement seen in the 2012 Tyre Check surveys. In the combined results for the four Tyre Check events held throughout 2012, the percentage of tyres which were found to be in ‘fine’ condition climbed to 89 percent, the highest ever for a year. The percent of ‘dangerous’ tyres dropped to four percent, also a new record, and the ‘extremely dangerous’ category held steady at 7.5 percent, maintaining the general trend since 2009.

“We are seeing an ongoing trend towards improved tyre condition in South Africa and we hope this continues into 2013,” Lovell said. “We ask all motorists to ensure their tyres are in good shape, both for inflation pressure and condition, before they depart for their Christmas holidays,” she concluded.

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