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HAVE SAFE HOLIDAYS, CHECK YOUR TYRES BEFORE DEPARTING


When did you last check your tyres?
When was the last time you checked the pressure of your tyres? Not sure?
You’ve just answered why so many people drive with dangerously under inflated tyres. Checking your tyre pressure is inexpensive and simple. Yet why do so many of us fail to weigh up the costs of ignoring this vital procedure?

Driving with incorrect tyre pressures can affect a vehicle’s handling, and can seriously compromise safety—leading to incidents that can put lives at risk. 

If your tyres are over or under inflated enough to be considered un-roadworthy, reading this article could save you a fine of up to € 2.500, depending of the country, per tyre.

Not sure of the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle or where to find them?
The correct pressures for your vehicle can normally be found in your owner's manual. The information may also be marked on the vehicle (for example on the driver’s door pillar, or on the inside of the petrol flap). In most cases, two different sets of pressures are given:

• For 'normal' driving conditions.
• For a loaded vehicle (with extra people or heavy items on board). 

To check your tyre inflation pressures you will need a tyre pressure gauge or use the gauge on the inflation equipment found at most garages and petrol stations.

See below how tyre pressures can affect safety:
ENDURANCE
Driving on under-inflated tyres reduces their endurance capabilities, leading to deterioration that could even result in a rapid deflation.
7 psi (0.5 bar) or more under inflated = DANGER

ROAD HOLDING
With under- inflated tyres, the vehicle's steering is less precise.
If a bend can be taken at 62 mph (100 km/h)  at a tyre pressure of 29 psi (2.0 bar), this speed drops to 54 mph (87 km/h) at 15 psi (1.0 bar), or about 8 mph (13 km/h) less.
Lower pressures = worse road holding

AQUAPLANING
If tyre pressures are 30% below the recommended pressure there is a sharp increase in the risk of aquaplaning.
Lower pressures = higher risk of aquaplaning

BRAKING
In addition, tests show that braking distances from 56 mph (90 km/h) to 43 mph (70 km/h) are 40 metres at 29 psi (2.0 bar) but 45 metres at 15 psi (1.0 bar), that's 5m longer.
15 psi (1.0 bar) under inflation = 5m longer braking distance

FUEL CONSUMPTION
Tyres under inflated by 15 psi (1 bar) have increased rolling resistance leading to around 6% greater fuel consumption.
Source: Michelin