Bridgestone South Africa’s third Tyre Safety survey of 2016 took place in mid-June as part of the company’s countrywide tyre safety initiative which has seen tens of thousands of tyres checked for condition and inflation pressure since 2007.
The latest survey, which took place in the car park of the Fields Shopping Centre in Kloof, outside Durban, saw some of the best results for the year to date. Over 90 percent of tyres surveyed were found to be correctly inflated.
Many drivers are not aware of the strict limits South African legislation sets on tyre condition, and Bridgestone’s tyre specialists are on hand at each Tyre Safety event to promote road safety through better tyre care. Information on the tyres on each vehicle surveyed is recorded on a data sheet, a copy of which is left on each vehicle for the driver’s information. More than 11 000 drivers have received a Tyre Safety leaflet since the first survey in 2007. Each tyre’s pressure and condition is noted, including excessive wear or damage which renders the tyre unsafe or illegal. Tyre pressures are recorded as ‘fine’ if they are within an inflation pressure band of 180kPa to 290 kPa. Tyres with higher inflation pressure are recorded as ‘over-inflated’ except where they are in accordance with the vehicle’s manufacturer specification. Tyre pressures below 180kPa are classified as ‘low’, ‘very low’, or ‘dangerously low’, depending on how low the pressure is.
As with the previous survey at Irene near Pretoria, the team of Bridgestone tyre specialists at the Fields Shopping Centre event had some volunteer help from Pageants SA, including Miss Junior South Africa 2016, Jaime Lee-Ann de Bruine, Miss Petite Teen South Africa, Christin Robson, and Little Miss World 2016, Deante Swarts. A total of 1072 tyres on 268 vehicles were checked for inflation pressure and condition.
Apart from the 90.39 percent of percent of tyres which were in the “fine” inflation bracket – the highest percentage recorded so far in 2016 – the survey also revealed that only 1.49 percent of tyres were over-inflated, which is the best result of the three surveys to date conducted in 2016. The inflation pressure of 2.05% of tyres was ‘very low’, another top result for 2016. 1.87 percent of tyres were in a ‘dangerously low’ inflation condition and 4.2 percent ‘low’. Bridgestone said that tyre pressures should be checked at least every two weeks, using a reliable tyre pressure gauge.
A total of four percent of tyres were found to be unsafe and in need of replacement, with defects such as cuts and bruises, or tread worn beyond the legal limit. Bridgestone said that the overall results from the Fields Shopping Centre survey were in line with the outcomes from the two previous surveys in 2016, with only one or two percentage point differences in most of the brackets.
“We often see quite large variations between Tyre Safety surveys done in different areas, but so far this year, the results have been close,” said Bridgestone PR Officer, Kelly Fester. “This is an encouraging trend which tells us that South African motorists are showing good awareness of the benefits of regularly checking their tyres’ condition and pressures,” she concluded.