In voicing this request, the association says that defective or underinflated tyres were a contributory factor in the death of 43 motorists in 2007 and played a part in nearly 1,000 further accidents.
David Williams, chief executive of GEM, is supporting the work of TyreSafe and the safety organisation’s argument that tyres play a fundamental role in the performance and safe handling of a car. “Many gauges on fuel station forecourts are not accurate and constant use of them could give drivers a false sense of security,” said Williams. “Including an easy to use digital tyre pressure reader as part of the tool kit of any new car with simple instructions of how and when to use it would cost very little to the vehicle manufacturer and be a real safety benefit for the owner.”
TyreSafe recently conducted a survey that found that nearly half of motorists asked admitted to not checking their tyre pressure in the last month, the maximum period recommended by safety organisations. “People are very neglectful about checking their tyres and that is reflected in more than one million MOT failures in 2007/08 as a result of tyre defects the fourth most common reason for an MOT failure,” added Williams.
“Driving on under inflated tyres also causes additional and uneven wear running a tyre at just 80% of the recommended pressure can reduce tyre life by 75%. Underinflation also affects fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres are especially dangerous as heat can build up to excessive levels over a long distance potentially causing a blow out and loss of control of the vehicle.”
Further detailed information on tyre safety can be found within the motoring advice section on the GEM motoringassist.com Web site. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)