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Europe’s Top Bad Tire Offenders

  Posted at 01:30:00 PM
  File under  Safety Statistics
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Michelin-Motorcycle-Tires poster
Michelin logo
French tire manufacturer Michelin Open link in a new window has carried out an extensive survey of the state of Europe's tires (tyres). They checked the air pressure of 50,000 cars and motorcycles tires in 27 countries, and the results are pretty bad.

Do you want to make a guess which countries are the worst offenders?.....

Latvia, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia and Ireland were the worst offenders in Europe. The statistics say it all; 67.1% of the vehicles in Latvia have under- or over-inflated tires, 66.5% for Greece, 63.7% for Lithuania, 62% for Estonia and 56.1% for Ireland.

As we all know (or at least we should know), under-inflated tires are not only very dangerous for our roadworthiness and safety, but also increase our fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Over-inflated tires are dangerous as well.


Michelin's head of communications, Peter Snelling, said: "In many countries, drivers are more aware of the importance of their tyres as they are used to changing them seasonally. They have respect for their vehicles and are fully aware of the safety implications of using unsuitable or incorrectly maintained tyres. Tyres are the only thing keeping a car on the road and it's all too easy for drivers to take them for granted and not treat them with the utmost care and attention that they deserve. Our Fill Up With Air research has shown that even during the boom years people didn't maintain their tyres and it is a concern that people will literally cut corners in order to cut costs during a recession, despite this being a false economy."

Results: Percentage of vehicles checked with dangerously under-inflated tires
  1. Latvia 67.1%
  2. Greece 66.5%
  3. Lithuania 63.7%
  4. Estonia 62%
  5. Ireland 56.1%
  6. Portugal 54.6%
  7. UK 49.7%
  8. Slovakia 49.6%
  9. Hungary 47.3%
  10. Cyprus 46%
  11. Belgium 44.1%
  12. Holland 43.8%
  13. Malta 43%
  14. Denmark 42%
  15. France 40.6%
  16. Romania 40.4%
  17. Slovenia 35.4%
  18. Poland 34.8%
  19. Czech Republic 34.7%
  20. Sweden 31.2%
  21. Luxembourg 25%
  22. Finland 19.8%
  23. Bulgaria 19.4%
  24. Italy 17.7%
  25. Germany 16.7%
  26. Austria 14.6%
  27. Spain 28.1%

Safety points for consideration:
  • Running 15psi under-inflated lowers the speed at which a car will aquaplane on a wet surface by around 10mph
  • Incorrect pressures affect a car's handling and can reduce cornering ability
  • Under-inflation can reduce braking performance
  • Under-inflation leads to increased heat generation, which can not only weaken the tyre but can also lead to a rapid deflation
  • Equally, over-inflation can cause premature tyre wear,reduced grip and poor handling


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