Properly inflated tyres “reduce” pothole damage: TyreSafe
TyreSafe has released a statement suggesting that damage caused by the UK’s pothole epidemic can be minimised if the tyres are properly inflated. Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, comments: “Potholes can cause significant damage to wheels and tyres. It’s therefore important for drivers to ensure their tyres are properly inflated to reduce any potential damage. If they do suffer the misfortune of hitting a pothole, drivers should make sure both their wheels and tyres are thoroughly inspected by a professional for signs of damage.”
“This may occur in the form of cuts or bulges in the tyre,” continues Jackson, “or, as we have seen increasing cases of, hairline fractures appearing in alloy wheels. In fact, whatever time of year it is motorists should always check their tyre pressure at least once a month and especially if they are planning any long journeys.”
It has been estimated that in 2010 there were 8,000 pothole related claims to insurers and TyreSafe says the early signs are that 2011 will exceed this due to the damage caused to roads during the freezing weather. Roads are being more critically prioritised for repair following the cuts of up to 20 per cent enforced on local authorities’ road maintenance budgets. According to the Local Government Association, Councils in England and Wales face a £165m funding gap to repair roads damaged by the winter weather.
Other effects of hitting a pothole include wheel misalignment. If there is significant misalignment the car may pull to one side or cause vibrations in the steering wheel which can be distracting and make the vehicle difficult to control. In less severe cases this can go unnoticed by the driver yet still result in increased or irregular tyre wear and higher fuel costs.
“Many garages and tyre dealers offer free tyre safety inspections for drivers. Properly equipped workshops can also perform some quick and simple checks to make sure the wheels are properly aligned,” adds Stuart Jackson.
TyreSafe offers correct tyre pressure figures in two electronic media: a vehicle registration search tool brings up the correct tyre pressures on its website, while a TyreSafe iPhone App will also do the job. Alternatively, details can be found in the vehicle manufacturer’s handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on a sticker inside the driver’s door sill.