Pothole crisis prompts more frequent tyre checks
Despite an extra £200million being pledged in the budget to help fix potholes and damaged roads, tyre safety campaign group TyreSafe is urging drivers to make even more regular checks for damage to their tyres and wheels. It warns that drivers failing to do so face an increased risk of being involved in a tyre related accident.
“While the announcement of extra funds to help repair the UK’s roads is welcome news, this will not happen overnight,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “In the meantime, it’s critical that drivers pay particular attention to the condition of their tyres and wheels as hitting a pothole can cause significant damage. If this damage is left unchecked it can present a very serious safety risk for them and other road users.”
After hitting a pothole, a buckled wheel or lump in the tyre are the most obvious signs of damage, but hidden problems can be just as dangerous. Hairline cracks in alloy wheels can allow air to gradually escape. If tyres are driven in an under-inflated state for a prolonged period, they are more likely to overheat and suffer from a rapid deflation. This type of event can be extremely difficult to control as it often occurs at high speeds on motorways.
“After hitting a pothole, it’s important that drivers check their tyre pressures regularly over the next few days to assess if there is any gradual loss of air,” advises Jackson. “If this does happen then it’s important that they visit a tyre specialist to have both the wheel rim and the tyre examined.”
Drivers can find their correct tyre pressures in their vehicle handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on a plate located on the driver’s door sill. TyreSafe has also developed an online tool, and a free iPhone app that provide drivers with their correct tyre pressures.
When checking pressures, TyreSafe also advises that drivers give the rest of the tyre a thorough inspection for other damage such as cuts, lumps or bulges. They should also pay particular attention to any changes in the vehicle’s feel or handling as this may be a sign of the wheels becoming misaligned.
Anyone in doubt about the condition of their wheels and tyres are advised to visit the website or call into their nearest tyre fitting centre.