It is not a coincidence that the subject of correct tyre pressure is mentioned very often. Only properly inflated tyres can ensure optimum driving performance and, above all, safety. What is the risk of low tyre pressure?
Too low tyre pressure is dangerous.
According to research, 40% of drivers in Europe and the United States very rarely check their tyre pressure. As a result, there are many vehicles on the road that are under-inflated.
Statistics show that more than 60% of passenger cars in Europe drivel vehicles with lower tyre pressures than recommended. Road safety organisations, tyre manufacturers and industry media are conducting various campaigns to improve drivers' awareness, but this is still low. Few people are aware that correct tyre pressure has an impact on many aspects of our comfort and safety. Unfortunately, the reasons for this are often too high or too low pressure in the case of driver negligence.
Too low tyre pressure affects two areas:
economic and ecological.
Low tyre pressure and safety
extended braking distance on wet roads by several metres (width of two pedestrian crossings),
reduced aquaplaning resistance of the tyres,
delayed and less precise reactions of the car,
risk of over- or understeering of the vehicle,
more difficult parking manoeuvres (especially in cars without power steering),
a high probability of the tyre being blown,
increased risk of punctures or other tyre damage,
faster wear of steering components.
Low tyre pressure – economic and environmental impact
pressure reduced by 0.5 bar reduces tread life by 20-30%,
faster shoulder wear,
risk of irregular tyre wear,
possible damage to the tyre's internal structure,
the formation of so-called marble wear.
A pressure drop of 0.5 bar increases fuel consumption by up to 5%. This is due to the increased deflection, which results in higher temperatures and rolling resistance. In this case, the increase in rolling resistance can be as high as 15%. Depending on the distances covered, too low a pressure can result in a full tank of fuel or more per year. This obviously results in increased carbon dioxide emissions.
Improper pressure levels can also increase noise emissions by 2dB(A).
You will usually find information about the right pressure on the fuel filler flap or in the vehicle handbook.
Low tyre pressure – advantages?
Many drivers claim that the reduced pressure relative to the nominal value gives a feeling of improved driving comfort. This is confirmed by professional test drivers. With a pressure drop of 0.5 bar, they are willing to increase their rating by 10% when assessing their comfort. Of course, they also score lower on handling and steering at the same time.
Low pressure is also used by enthusiasts of riding on off-road terrain, including rough surfaces. Lowering the pressure is intended to improve traction properties.