July 24, 2009 07:39 ET

UK and Ireland Are Europe's Top Offenders for Tyre Safety

The UK and Ireland are Europe's worst offenders when it comes to driving with dangerous tyres

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - July 24, 2009) - In its sixth year, Michelin's European tyre safety campaign, Fill Up With Air, launched with the support of Vicki Butler Henderson, has shed light on alarming statistics.

Based on checks of 50,000 cars across 27 countries, only Latvia, Greece, Lithuania and Estonia have a worse record with Austria and Germany being consistently the most safety conscious.

Out of 5,000 UK cars surveyed by Michelin in 2007/08, more than 43 per cent were found to have dangerously(i) under-inflated tyres, risking an accident.

Vicki Butler-Henderson said: "Tyres are the only contact a vehicle has with the road and it always amazes me how little care we take as a nation in terms of looking after them.

"We have to remember that cars are potential lethal weapons and it is our duty to ensure that we make them as safe as possible and minimise the risk of potentially lethal accidents.

For 2009 Michelin has collated the statistics gathered over the last six years to compile a true picture of tyre safety in the UK and across Europe.

Stand-out findings from the report include:

- Almost 27 per cent of cars checked in Liverpool were found to be driving with punctures

- The most tyre conscious region is East Anglia - with 10 per cent of the population checking tyre pressure once a week

- Passenger car and van travel contributes almost 16 per cent of the UK's CO2 emissions

Michelin's head of communications, Peter Snelling, said: "On the Continent, drivers far more aware of the importance of their tyres. They have respect for their vehicles and are fully aware of the safety implications of using unsuitable or incorrectly maintained tyres, something we seem to happily ignore in this country, until it's too late."

Fill Up With Air will be taking to the roads this summer and visiting more than 45 locations across the UK and Ireland for more information on tyre safety please view Vicki Butler Henderson's top tyre safety tips video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4nHaRkVRHQ


Notes to Editors

(i)Tyre pressure classifications

- Acceptable: up to 4psi

- Temporarily acceptable: between 5 - 7 psi

- Dangerous between: 8 - 14psi

- Very dangerous: 14psi

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