Drivers are unaware of what the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light means, according to industry charity TyreSafe.
While a potentially life-saving feature, the system, introduced on all new cars in 2014, is still a mystery to some. To help drivers understand what it is, and what to do if the light appears on a vehicle dashboard, TyreSafe has developed a new animation which clearly explains what all motorists need to know.
The system is designed to monitor a car’s tyre pressures individually across all wheels and alert the driver if they fall below the recommended settings. Driving with underinflated tyres not only wastes fuel, and increases tyre wear, it also makes them more vulnerable to catastrophic failure, or ’blowout’ – a potentially life-threatening driving event.
Some systems will automatically turn the light out once a driver reinflated their tyres to the correct pressure, although not all do. In many instances, it is down to the driver to check the pressures, inflate the tyres accordingly and then manually reset the system. Understanding which type has been fitted to their vehicle and what to do is essential for all motorists.
The TyreSafe animation also has advice should the light reappear soon after. It maybe a sensor needs replacing or there is a fault with the system. Both situations will need to be fixed if the car is to pass its next MOT.
Should a driver see the TPMS light come on while driving, they should slow down, drive more cautiously and find a service area or garage where the pressures can be checked as soon as possible.
“TPMS is an essential part of modern vehicle safety systems,” commented Stuart Lovatt, TyreSafe Chair. “If tyres are not at the right pressure, the vehicle’s handling and braking will be compromised. But, our research suggests a significant number of drivers ignore the warning light when it appears and carry-on driving – putting themselves and others at unnecessary risk.
“You need to take action now, to understand what to do if the warning light does on come whilst driving. Take a few moments to watch our animation so you can act if this happens to you.”
Garages can also play a part in educating drivers, highlighting the system when changing tyres. With the annual tyre safety month imminent, there is no better time to help customers understand another crucial part of road safety.