Having the correct tyre pressure could prevent crashes

31st October 2012

During a recent road crash investigation event, GEM Motoring Assist, a breakdown recovery service and road safety charity, revealed why some common collisions occur on the road.

There were a number of lessons they learnt during the event, which they believe could help prevent motorists from being involved in certain crashes.

It makes sense that drivers should keep their cars in good working order, and getting a vehicle serviced on a regular basis and ensuring its MOT is up to date will go a long way to helping secure a motorist's safety.

However, there are other checks that drivers need to make on a more regular basis, and making sure a car has the correct tyre pressure is vital.

GEM Motoring Assist has urged motorists to "check tyre pressures frequently".

As part of the road crash investigation, the company was asked to drive around a slalom course at 40mph three times.

Each time they drove the course, the pressure on the car was reduced on the rear offside tyre.

The verdict? "First time was fine, second time was much harder, and third time (with only 15PSI in the rear wheel) proved impossible. We found ourselves spinning out of control after negotiating just two of the slalom cones", GEM said.

The test clearly highlights the dangers of failing to check tyre pressure on cars.

According to TyreSafe, one of the UK’s leading tyre safety organisations, "under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour".

In addition, TyreSafe states that tyres which are not inflated correctly are "much more likely to suffer from a dangerous blowout". This is of particular concern on journeys where cars may be travelling at speed, on motorways for instance.

Safety is not the only reason to drive on correctly inflated tyres either. As Tyresafe points out, tyres that are under-inflated use more force to turn and that burns more fuel which could end up with you having to make more costly trips to the petrol pump.

What's more, under-inflated tyres don't last as long.

TyreSafe suggests that "to benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tyre life, increased safety and reduced CO2 emissions, make sure you check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before a long journey".

The AA also suggests that having over-inflated tyres can make for a "harsh, uncomfortable and skittish ride".

It states that tyres pressures should be checked every couple of weeks, when tyres are cold.

Drivers can find the correct pressures in the handbook for the car or on a sticker located on the inside of the fuel cap flap or by the driver's door.

The AA is keen to remind motorists that there are two pressures to watch out for, one when a car is carrying normal loads, and another if there is a heavy load.

Checking tyre pressure also offers motorists the perfect opportunity to give them the once over to ensure there are no cuts or bulges, which may indicate damage.

Any car which has a tyre with a cut that reveals the internal structure will have to replace it or risk an accident and an MOT failure.

Get your tyre pressure checked at ATS Euromaster

Posted by Danielle Barge