Despite many warnings by organisations such as TyreSafe and others, it is well known that a considerable proportion of UK drivers continue to run on underinflated tyres. However, it is difficult to know just exactly how many UK motorists continue do this, since many of them are unaware that they are doing so.
However, a recent new tyre pressure pilot study conducted by the technology firm WheelRight has shed some light on this important subject. The study, carried out jointly between WheelRight, Welcome Break Services and Highways England, took place at Keele Services on the M6 using drive over technology that took tyre pressure readings automatically.
The pilot scheme, which took place in between March 2015 and March 2016, took some 150,000 readings over the course of 1 year (50,000 of these were of HGVs). During the trial tyre pressure levels were checked and recorded as were driver attitudes and awareness about tyre pressure. The study involved both private drivers and commercial vehicles.
Key to the study was WheelRights “Drive Over” system that meant that drivers didn’t have to get out their vehicle to check the pressure of their tyres.
The data collected was very revealing; as well as finding that as much as one quarter of UK cars had at least one dangerously inflated tyre, the study also showed that many HGVs were typically running on at least one underinflated tyre at any one time. Amongst other things, the aftermath of the study saw HGV drivers calling for simpler solutions to regular tyre pressure checks, and in particular shortening the period in which checks are made.