Thousands risk summer holiday tyre trauma
Thousands of British holidaymakers could be risking hours of motorway misery this summer by failing to check their tyre pressures before setting off. However, by simply checking their tyre pressures prior to travelling, drivers can significantly reduce their risk of suffering a tyre related breakdown.
The latest advice has been issued by TyreSafe, who estimate that some nine million cars in the UK are being driven with seriously or severely under-inflated tyres which can be a major cause of tyre failures, particularly in hot weather or when vehicles are heavily laden.
“While many of us will be taking to the roads soon for our summer holidays, it’s important to remember that one very simple check beforehand can prevent many miserable incidents,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Making sure that your car’s tyres are inflated to the correct pressures before you travel is a very simple task which only takes a few moments but could prove to be the most important and rewarding time you spend this summer.”
Figures released from the Highways Agency reflect the scale of the potential problem with more than 8,700 tyre related incidents occurring on its network between July and September last year. Meanwhile, the AA reported that it received some 350,000 breakdown call outs for tyre related issues in 2013, its second most common reason for a breakdown call.
When a tyre is under-inflated, the weight of the vehicle is concentrated on the tyre’s outer edges causing it to overheat and be at a much greater risk of suffering from a rapid deflation. These frightening events most typically occur at high speeds on motorways after prolonged periods of running at low pressures.
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. Drivers should also remember that pressures may need to be adjusted if they are carrying any extra loads such as passengers or luggage.
Tyre pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold, i.e. have driven less than two miles, using an accurate pressure gauge.