Bridgestone South Africa

Pietersburg tyre survey results disappointing

Jul 16, 2009

The latest in a series of nationwide surveys conducted by Bridgestone South Africa to promote tyre safety and the importance of checking tyre pressures and their general condition has shown that there is still an unacceptably high level of motorists driving on tyres that are considered dangerous and needing to be replaced.

A survey in Polokwane in June has revealed that 15% of motorists in the Limpopo Province city are driving on tyres that are below the acceptable tyre pressure level of 1.8 Bar. Even more concerning was the fact that 6% of the tyres examined were found to be at pressures of less than 1.5 Bar, which is considered to be extremely dangerous.

Bridgestone's tyre pressure surveys started in 2007 and to date have involved the inspection of nearly 3 000 vehicles and 12 000 tyres in five major metropolitan areas. The average of all the areas combined reveals that short of 80% of all the vehicles inspected were at or above the acceptable tyre pressure level of 1.8 Bar.

"We find these statistics alarming," said Bridgestone's general manager of group communications, Romano Daniels. "Most of our surveys have been conducted in association with Pick n Pay and have taken place in Hypermarket parking areas. They have revealed what we consider to be unacceptably high levels of negligence on the part of motorists who do not check their tyre pressures or the condition of their tyres.

"While we were pleased to see that a high percentage of Polokwane motorists (85%) had tyres that were in good condition, the "extremely dangerous" categorisation accounted for 6%, the highest we have encountered so far in all our surveys. There were several instances of completely bald tyres, including a taxi advertising the 2010 football World Cup that had four tyres with no tread at all."

"Clearly more education is needed to improve awareness of the important role that tyres play in improving vehicle handling and driver control. Under-inflated and damaged tyres are a major contributory factor to the high number of crashes on our roads," Daniels added.

Earlier surveys have been conducted in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Durban. The information gathered is being used to establish a Bridgestone Tyre Index and the ongoing surveys will allow a year-on-year comparison to gauge whether the national tyre inflation condition is improving or not.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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