From 2012, all new cars in Europe are to carry a system that monitors tyre pressure in a bid to cut down on the number of accidents and promote greener driving, it has been announced.
The move by the European Commission follows advice from motoring experts, including international automotive supplier Continental, urging the introduction of systems that alert the driver as soon as slight under-inflation is detected.
Not only is the ruling aimed at reducing the number of accidents due to tyre failure, it also hopes to promote environmental protection - as only the correct inflation pressure ensures that a tyre runs with a low rolling resistance and delivers maximum fuel efficiency.
A spokesman for Continental said: "Tyre blowouts pose a serious risk to road users, especially if they happen while travelling at high speed.
"If a driver loses control of the car, a lot of other people on the road are immediately in great danger as well. About 90% of all tyre defects are attributable to a slow leak in tyre pressure."
It has been estimated that correctly inflated tyres would reduce car running costs in Europe by around £3.1 billion a year.
Copyright © Press Association 2009