British motorists are collectively wasting more than £1 billion a year despite petrol prices breaking through the £5 a gallon mark and diesel hitting £1.29 a litre, by failing to keep an eye on their tyre pressure.
Research by Cooper Tire Europe found that, at any one time, a staggering 95 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one tyre under inflated by 10 percent. This not only increases fuel consumption and reduces the life of the tyre, but also increases the risk of accidents.
Under inflated tyres are harder to get moving, and can result in an increase of 2.5 percent in fuel consumption – an unwanted extra expense considering UK motorists spent £34 billion on fuel last year.
With around 30 million passenger vehicles on the roads, and an average cost of 14.74 pence per mile for petrol cars and 12.81 pence per mile for diesel cars, drivers of affected vehicles are unwittingly shelling out an extra £44.22 per year each (£38.43 for diesel drivers) – a collective total of £1.26 billion*.
Alarmingly, under inflated tyres also increase stopping distances and are therefore a contributory factor to road accidents. Department for Transport data reveals that defective and under inflated tyres cause 1,000 serious injuries or fatalities every year.
“Checking your tyre pressures is a mundane, but very simple, task,” says Cooper Tire product manager, Malcolm Jones. “As the ‘credit crunch’ grips the country, it’s amazing that drivers aren’t bothering to do it, as it could save them money and, more importantly, keep them safe on the road.”
Cooper Tire recommends that motorists check their tyre pressures at least once a month, or whenever they fill up at a petrol station.