PCL is reminding drivers and fleet operators of the importance of having correctly inflated tyres this Tyre Safety Month.
From tyre lifespan, to safety and fuel economy, having too much or not enough air in tyres can have wide-ranging implications.
PCL says that 3% more fuel is used if the tyre inflation level is just 6psi below what it should be.
Furthermore, by regularly checking tyre pressures and making sure they are at 100% of the manufacturer-recommended psi, the lifespan of the tyres is maximised, which also saves money.
TyreSafe, the UK charity which organises Tyre Safety Month, estimates that under-inflated tyres cost UK consumers £600m per year.
Under-inflated and defective tyres are the primary cause of most road traffic accidents. When tyres are not correctly inflated, braking performance is affected, which can lead to dangerous situations.
However, over a third of tyres (35%) are being driven on roads at least 8psi below vehicle manufacturer recommendations.
PCL’s marketing manager Matthew Butters said: “It may seem obvious, but it is important to remember that the air in the tyres carries the majority of a vehicle’s load, and the tyres are the only contact point between the vehicle and the road.
“This ‘contact patch’ is only the size of the palm of your hand, so for a vehicle to have the best possible stability, this area needs to be flat to the road which can only be achieved by having the correct tyre pressures.
“All too often people think that having a slightly underinflated tyre won’t be an issue but throw heavy rain or having to swerve around an obstacle into the mix and the results can be lethal.”
Motorists are encouraged to consult their vehicle handbook for the correct loaded tyre pressure and to check them regularly, especially before heading off on a long journey with a fully-loaded vehicle.