February 25, 2008 08:15 ET

Drivers Must Check Tyre Pressures Warns Michelin

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2008) - Following the results of a year long study, Michelin is urging motorists not to risk accidents by neglecting tyre safety. Research from the world's leading tyre manufacturer shows a staggering 80% of cars on British roads are running incorrect tyre pressures, and 50% are dangerous and at risk of causing accidents.

Michelin checked the tyre pressure of thousands of vehicles across 27 EU countries during its 'Fill up with Air' campaign, with the results revealing the UK as 25th out of 27, with only Greece and Latvia having a worse record.
With tyres being run at such low pressures there are major cost implications, particularly in terms of increased fuel consumption, environmental impact and danger to human life.

Peter Snelling, Head of Communications at Michelin UK, states: "According to Department for Transport statistics 6% of all fatal motorway accidents are caused by under-inflated tyres. Even more frightening is that our survey found that 13%, or more than one in eight cars had at least one puncture. It is the responsibility of every motorist to check and adjust their tyre pressures regularly. It is not an expensive or complicated task and only takes a couple of minutes each week. Don't forget, air is free!

"As well as the safety risks of half the cars running on dangerously under-inflated tyres, a typical pressure of 10 psi below recommended levels will have the equivalent effect of adding 3p to the cost of a litre of petrol or diesel. This is a totally unnecessary cost for motorists, and it's the same for the environment. With inadequate pressure fuel consumption increases greatly, in turn leading to an extra 5.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted each year in the UK. This is an unacceptable penalty imposed on our environment through apathy."

Michelin's research saw more than 2,300 cars inspected across the UK, with 36% found to have at least one tyre between 7 and 12 psi below the recommended pressure, and 15% at least 14psi or more below the specified level - which is as much as 50% below the correct pressure.

The Michelin 'Fill up with Air' campaign is a pan-European educational roadshow designed to bring home the importance of regular tyre pressure checks and adjustment. The campaign will continue in 2008, with more dates and venues being added across the UK.

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