Tyres are crucial to the performance of a vehicle, and unfortunately, most motorists don't pay them the attention they need, which can lead to highly dangerous situations, especially in wet or hazardous conditions.
Automotive technology brand Navman is urging motorists to take the extra effort to routinely check on the conditions of their tyres, particularly their pressure. This is especially relevant given the change to colder weather when drivers are likely to encounter icier conditions and fog.
"If your tyres are underinflated, it reduces your braking distance, increases the risk of a blowout, and reduces your fuel efficiency," said General Manager of Navman Australia and New Zealand, Wendy Hammond.
"Drivers need to think more about their tyres and recognise that they are the single point of contact between them and the road."
Our tyres don't get the love they deserve, their role in car safety and driver efficiency needs to be recognised.Wendy Hammond
Putting it in perspective, here are some of the effects of having tyres with incorrect pressure:
Braking distance - At a driving speed of 100 km/h, the braking distance with correctly inflated tyres will be 40 m compared to 42.4 m with deflated tyres. Performance is therefore improved by almost 6%, equal to 2.4 m. In the case of an accident, the braking distance is crucial.
Tyre wear and lifespan of tyres - Incorrect tyre pressure causes uneven tyre wear. Pressure that is too low causes shoulder wear can cause structurally damage the tyre and lowers its lifespan by 15 per cent. Pressure that is too high causes wear to the centre of the tyre and can reduce your tyre's lifespan by 10 per cent.
Fuel Economy - Low tyre pressure causes less squeezing of the tread blocks when in contact with the road surface. A reduction in pressure by 1 bar results in a 30% rise in rolling resistance, increasing fuel consumption by several per cent.
While you don't have to buy new tyres every year, you should look to rotate them regularly and not let them get too old. As the tread reduces, it is easier for tyres to puncture and older tyres also lose more air. That's aside from the lack of grip on the road that results from driving with tyres with low tread.
"Our tyres don't get the love they deserve, their role in car safety and driver efficiency needs to be recognised. It doesn't take much effort to keep your tyres in top condition, you have to make it part of your routine and check them once a month," Ms Hammond said.
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