Motorists in Ballymena are wasting £269,200 a year on fuel and putting lives at risk by driving on underinflated tyres, according to Michelin.
The tyre manufacturer analysed results from more than 23,000 cars in the UK and found that 37 per cent had at least one tyre classed as either “dangerously underinflated” or “very dangerously” underinflated. Based on this, around 12,533 drivers on the road in Ballymena could be running on dangerous tyres.
In addition, more than 570 tonnes of excess CO2 are being emitted by cars in the region as a result.
The figures come from eight years of Michelin-run events and they suggest attitudes to tyre safety are not improving.
Jamie McWhir, car, van and 4x4 technical manager for Michelin in the UK, said: “The proportion of cars with dangerously underinflated tyres has pretty much stayed the same over the years we have been running our Fill Up With Air events and there’s no reason to believe that Ballymena should be significantly better than the national average. This means motorists in the area could be wasting money and putting lives at risk in the process as seriously underinflated tyres are dangerous, use more fuel, wear out quicker and can cause the car to produce more pollutants and greenhouse gases.”
Michelin classifies tyres that are between 7psi and 14psi below the manufacturer’s recommendation as “dangerously underinflated”, while 14 psi or more underinflation is deemed to be “very dangerous.”
Mr McWhir added: “Last year the Department for Transport found that dangerous tyres were responsible for more than 40 per cent of vehicle defect related deaths.”