Study says 71% of European drivers need more air in their tires
April 27, 2011
With the spotlight shining on of hybrid vehicles, kinetic energy recovery systems and stop start functionality, it's easy to forget that a very effective way to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions is right in front of us – air. A study recent study by tire manufacturer Bridgestone suggests that it's not only easy to forget, most of us do forget. The company checked 38,000 cars in 9 European countries during 2010 with results showing that 71% of the drivers were driving on under-inflated tires.
Bridgestone equates the 71% figure to wasting €2.8 billion per year (2 billion liters) due to improper tire usage. And the environmental impact – 4.8 million tons of additional and preventable carbon emissions per year or 1.8g/km for every car on the road.
Low tire inflation means poor tire rolling resistance, which is a major factor in how much fuel a car uses. Bridgestone estimates that taking into account road and weather conditions, tire rolling resistance represents 18% to 26% of the total force on a car. Low tire pressure also impacts on safety by reducing a vehicles' handling ability, increasing drifting and making tires wear out faster.
Other key findings of the study include:
- 7.5% of vehicles checked were using seriously under inflated tires (0.5 % severely under inflated)
- 1 out of 14 motorists are putting their safety at risk due to seriously under-inflated tires and/or worn out tires
- 2% of the tires checked have 30% reduced mileage due to under inflation
- 11.7% of tires checked had a tread depth below the legal level of 1.6 mm
- 12.2 million tires are lost because of premature wear
- 7.5% of checked drivers face significantly higher fuel consumption because of low inflation pressure.
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