Tyre safety still a big issue
FOR SAFETY'S SAKE: Members of Bridgestone's Tyre Check surveys team perform checks on a vehicle, with worrying results.
Bridgestone SA's programme of Tyre Check surveys for 2012 has wound down with the final event of the year in the car park at Pick 'n Pay's Ottery branch in Cape Town. The results were scary...
The team checked 1220 tyres on 305 vehicles for condition, tread depth and inflation pressure and classified them 'fine' (inflation pressure between 180kPa and 290kPa), 'dangerous' (below 180kPa but above 150kPa) or 'extremely dangerous' (below 150kPa or above 290kPa). Every tyre was also checked for cuts, bulges and excessive tread wear (see image above).
Bridgestone PR manager Mandy Lovell said: “The 2012 Tyre Check broke many records set for tyre condition and pressure, including a record 95% of tyres classified as 'fine' during the Carnival Mall event in February 2012. Ottery, however, went against this trend with 15% of tyres classified 'extremely dangerous'."
Another three percent were 'dangerous' so only 82% of tyres were correctly inflated, the lowest percentage since the Rustenburg event 30 months earlier and the fifth-worst of the 22 Tyre Check events held since 2007.
Lovell said a further concern was that seven percent of tyres were classified as 'unsafe' due to worn tread or carcass damage, the highest percentage in two years.
Lovell said the Ottery results should not take the shine off "the general improvement seen in the 2012 Tyre Check surveys" which showed the percentage of 'fine' tyres climbed to 89% and 'dangerous' tyres to four percent. 'Extremely dangerous'' however, remained at 7.5%, as it has since 2009.
“We are seeing an ongoing trend towards improved tyre condition in South Africa and hope this continues into 2013,” Lovell said. “We ask all drivers to ensure their tyres are in good shape, both for inflation pressure and condition, before they depart for their Christmas holiday."