Most Belgians are aware that the state of vehicle tyres is linked to safety, but only a minority take steps to ensure their tyres are in good order, according to a survey conducted by the Belgian Road Safety Institute, IBSR, and commissioned by the Recytyre non-profit organization. Recytyre, which manages worn tyres, deplored the survey’s results and, on Monday January 9, it will launch an awareness campaign to encourage monthly tyre checks.
The survey, conducted among 1,002 respondents, shows that the vast majority of Belgian drivers (80%) know that driving with worn tyres is dangerous and 49% are aware that poor tyre pressure increases the risk of accidents. However, only half knew the best level of pressure and only a third knew the legal minimum tread depth.
Despite these poor scores, 71% of the drivers said their tyres were fully compliant. However, 78% did not conduct the monthly routine check required to be sure of that, and one-third simply did not pay the least attention to the state of their tyres.
Most drivers rely on their mechanic to check their tyres when they take their vehicles to the garage for maintenance. That’s “totally insufficient” says Recytyre, given the length of time between maintenance visits. “A car tyre loses on average 0.07 bar (*) per month, which causes it sooner or later to have insufficient pressure,” explains Recytyre CEO Chris Lorquet. He is calling for a legal framework that would allow tyres to be checked to ensure they have the right pressure.
The association also stresses that tyres in good state reduce not only the risk of accident but also fuel consumption and, thereby, the emission of carbon dioxide and fine particles.
(*) One Bar is equivalent to about 14.5 pounds per square inch.