As many as 23 million drivers could be putting their safety and that of other road users at risk because of laziness or ignorance.
As garages prepare for a rush on MOT bookings, a new survey has found that fewer than half of drivers know what at low tyre pressure warning light looks like and a quarter don’t know how to inflate their car’s tyres.
Incorrectly inflated tyres pose a number of hazards to drivers, from harming their fuel economy and increasing missions to risking a disastrous blowout which could cause an accident. But half of drivers who encountered a low-pressure warning ignored it and carried on driving, according to a poll by Halfords to promote its Tyres on the Drive service.
According to its findings, 60 per cent of drivers can’t identify the tyre pressure warning light on a modern car, despite the system being a mandatory feature since 2014.
It also found that the average driver only checks their tyre pressure once every three months and 23 per cent wouldn’t be confident in inflating their tyres if they required it.
Defective tyres, including those damaged by running at the incorrect pressure, account for seven per cent of all MOT failures, according to data from the DVSA.
Checking tyre pressure can be done in a few minutes at home using a dedicated pressure gauge or the gauge on a footpump or compressor. Alternatively, most filling stations have a station where you can check and top up your pressures. If you are unsure of the correct pressure, check for a sticker - often on the inside of the filler cap on on a front door surround - or consult your owner’s manual.
Karl Baker, operations director for Halfords Tyres on the Drive, said: “Defective tyres are costly and deadly, and our research shows that many motorists aren’t aware of the dangers of driving around with underinflated tyres.
“They affect your car’s handling and steering, give you reduced grip, wear quicker and are more prone to a blowout - yet this can be fixed in a matter of minutes.”