Crain News Service report
BRUSSELS (May 2, 2013) — The number of European motorists driving with underinflated or worn tires soared by 25 percent in 2012, according to a survey carried out by Bridgestone Corp.
Based on the results of more than 28,000 free tire safety checks carried out in 2012, the Tokyo-based tire maker said a "staggering" 78 percent of vehicles were found to have underinflated tires, while over a quarter had tires that were worn beyond the legal limit. These figures, according to Bridgestone, are "even more disturbing" given that they represent an increase of about 25 percent over 2011.
The tire maker suggested the likely cause of the increase is the economic crisis, rising fuel prices and declining purchasing power. Bridgestone warned against the dangers of underinflated and worn tires, citing them as a safety risk on the road by decreasing stability and steering response while increasing braking distances.
"Driving on underinflated tires is not only dangerous, it is an enormous waste of fuel and the cause of carbon emissions that could easily be avoided by simple, regular checks," said Jake Rønsholt, general manager corporate and brand communications for Bridgestone Europe.
He added that ideally drivers should check their tire pressure once month, and while doing so check tread depth and look out for damage or irregular wear at the same time.
This report appeared in European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.