Only half of the tyre pressures monitored by WheelRight at a key transport industry event were found to be within 10% of their correct levels.
What's more, data gathered at the NEC'S Commercial Vehicle (CV) Show has revealed that more than one in ten of vehicles tested were found to have tyres that were under-inflated by over 20% - significantly below the tyre pressure levels recommended by manufacturers.
Thousands of motorists visiting the April exhibition had the opportunity to test WheelRight's revolutionary tyre pressure system for free by simply driving over the instrument, which was installed at the NEC's East car park. Motorists obtained their results by confirming their registration number on a touch screen at the WheelRight stand and taking a print-out of their individual tyre readings.
On the last day of the show, the WheelRight system read the pressures of 1,476 vehicles. Measuring a vehicle every eight seconds and a tyre pressure every 2.5 seconds, the instrument was used by a non-stop stream of vehicles, with nearly 500 vehicles measured in an hour.
WheelRight's data, sourced from a wide range of visitors who travelled from all over the UK to attend the show, is a clear demonstration of poor tyre pressure maintenance. These concerning results are consistent with other tests carried out by WheelRight's demonstration unit at other public events*. The lowest tyre pressure monitored at the show came in at a worryingly low nine psi (pounds per square inch).
WheelRight's testing shows that drivers are incurring needless costs and endangering their safety through inadequate tyre inflation. Tyre under-inflation of 10% typically costs the average HGV operator £1,000 per vehicle each year in extra fuel usage and tyre wear. Meanwhile, the UK sees approximately 25 deaths and nearly 1,500 serious accidents** every year attributed to poorly inflated or defective tyres.
"The data we have collected clearly highlights that tyre pressure remains an issue of concern," said WheelRight chief executive John Catling. "Indeed, the lowest tyre pressure read by our system during our CV Show demonstration revealed nine psi – a worryingly and extremely unsafe result."
The demonstration follows WheelRight's campaign to encourage fleets to adopt best practice in introducing daily tyre pressure checks. "With our revolutionary system, we're providing operators with cutting-edge technology that supplies them with accessible, robust data, and a simple, time-efficient solution to their tyre pressure concerns," Catling added. "If you're at all concerned about your fleet's tyre pressures, get in touch with WheelRight to book a free trial."
The results also illustrate the versatility and range of WheelRight's technology. "The system can read multiple tyre pressures for both cars and HGVs within a short timeframe with ease, without the need to fit any additional equipment to the vehicle," Catling concluded. "The system's flexibility is also reflected by our respective HGV and car tyre pressure monitoring installations at Keele Services. These highlight the potential for a wider roll-out for the instrument as an application in forecourts and service stations to help drivers rapidly identify unsafe tyre pressure readings."
WheelRight's unique tyre pressure monitoring system is currently installed at Keele Services on the south-bound M6, where both HGV drivers and motorists can check their tyre pressures. The installation, which gives users the opportunities to collect a free tyre pressure reading, is running in conjunction with Highways England and site operator Welcome Break.
* Data taken from a sample of 500 vehicles at an industry event in late 2014 revealed that more than 1 in 8 cars had tyres that were significantly under-inflated. WheelRight's mobile monitoring device took pressure readings of approximately 2,000 tyres at Seeing is Believing, an event organised by Highway Magazine and sponsored by the Highway Agency.
**Road Safety Observatory – April 2014