Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone Tyre Index reveals startling results

Dec 01, 2008

South African drivers urgently need to pay more attention to the pressure and general condition of their tyres.

Surveys conducted by Bridgestone South Africa in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town have shown that some two out of 10 vehicles checked are being driven with one or more tyres at a pressure level of less than 1,8 bar (described as "dangerous"), while 5% of vehicles had at least one tyre at dangerously low levels below 1,5 bar (categorised as "extremely dangerous").

Even more concerning was the fact that more than one in 10 vehicles were being driven on one or more unsafe tyres, including low tread depth levels, unevenly worn tread, side wall damage and tread separation.

The surveys, conducted during the past 12 months, are part of an ongoing project initiated by Bridgestone South Africa to determine the inflation and condition of the tyres of a representative cross section of motor vehicles and to establish a Bridgestone Tyre Index. The surveys will allow a year-on-year comparison to gauge whether the tyre inflation condition is improving or not.

Bridgestone tyre experts checked a total of 10 000 tyres in major parking areas across South Africa and the data gathered was collated and analysed independently by the RMI Road Safety Foundation.

"While it was clear from the results of our survey that the majority of the vehicles checked had adequate tyre pressures," said Romano Daniels, Bridgestone South Africa's general manager of group communications and marketing, "it is concerning that nearly a quarter of the drivers did not take proper care of their tyres, an essential safety element. Clearly, more education is needed to improve awareness of the important role that tyres play in improving vehicle handling and driver control.

"Motorists need to realise that turning the steering left or right, applying pressure to the brake pedal or accelerator pedal, are all driver instructions to the tyres to steer correctly, brake effectively and grip continuously. If the tyres are in poor condition, the instructions via the instruments cannot be performed safely by the tyres", said Daniels. "Under-inflated tyres and overloaded vehicles are a major cause of tyre failure and unfortunately a substantial contributory factor to the high number of crashes on our roads."

There are a few simple things that drivers should do to avoid flat tyres and other types of tyre failure:

  • Maintain proper tyre pressure " tyre pressure should always be checked when the tyres are cold. If you are unsure, consult your vehicle manual.
  • Ensure that you fit the correct tyres as specified by your vehicle manufacturer.
  • Observe tyre and vehicle load limits.
  • Regularly inspect your tyres for cuts, slashes and other irregularities.
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Bridgestone South Africa

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