LAURENS, S.C. (March 25, 2003) — Michelin North America Inc. gave 12 district safety coordinators from the South Carolina Department of Transportation a first-hand look at the effects of low tire pressure.
At the tire maker's proving grounds in Laurens, Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin put the drivers through three real-life situations, including the effect of low air pressure on wet traction, the effect of worn rear tires on vehicle stability and how to maintain control after a tire blowout.
The state employees teach defensive driving courses for other SCDOT employees who operate a state vehicle. Their test runs were part of a program begun this year to teach government and law enforcement trainers proper tire techniques.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of all passenger cars on the road have at least one tire that is underinflated by 20 percent. For example, a tire requiring 32 psi would only have 26 psi, a Michelin press release noted.
“That seemingly small difference can mean the margin between control and out of control for the average driver, especially on wet road conditions,” said Mac Demere, a test driver at the proving grounds.