How important is safety when buying a new tyre? Not very according to research conducted on behalf of Michelin by ICM research. Ninety five per cent don’t give any consideration to the tyres safety aspects when buying replacements.
The statistics are worrying considering that tyres are the only contact between the car and the road and the right tyre can significantly improve a car’s safety performance.
However, from 2012 the uncertainties of purchasing tyres will be reduced due to new EU legislation coming into force in the form of tyre labelling.
The label has been designed to arm the consumer with much needed information about the tyres’ safety performance, environmental impact and noise levels, much like the current labelling on white goods.
Consumers will be able to research tyres much like they do when purchasing a dishwasher, washing machine or any other similar appliance. Labels will show an energy rating from A – G and wet braking performance will also be highlighted ensuring motorists can make a green or safety choice.
Jianni Geras, Michelin head of marketing said: “We welcome tyre labelling and hope that the information provided to the consumer will enable them to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing tyres. It’s clear from the research that many consumers are unaware that the right tyre can save money in fuel economy but also make their vehicle safer.”
An independent test carried out by What Car? also highlighted why motorists should think carefully when buying new tyres soley on price:
After all, they’re all just black bands of rubber, and the cheap tyres wouldn’t be sold in the UK if they weren’t as good as premium brands, would they?
Think again. We pitted three premium tyres against three budget alternatives in a series of braking tests, and the results were shocking. In the wet, the budget tyres took an average of 14 metres – the length of an articulated lorry – longer than the premium tyres to pull up from 70mph.
In the dry the differences weren’t as vast, but the worst budget tyre still took up to five metres longer to stop than the top premium brand. That could easily be the difference between a nasty accident and escaping with just sweaty palms.
For more information about the right tyre for your vehicle visit www.michelin.co.uk