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Drivers urged to undertake more frequent tyre checks due to pothole crisis

‘While the announcement of extra funds to help repair the UK’s roads is welcome news, this will not happen overnight,’ commented 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.’

The organisation says that 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, available at www.tyresafe.org, 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 TyreSafe website (www.tyresafe.org) or call into their nearest tyre fitting centre.

The announcement comes as a new interactive tool, created by Trusted Dealers, is launched to highlights various factors relating to potholes such as miles of local authority road by region, number of licensed cars in that region, number of potholes filled over last year and average cost to fill a pothole. 

The piece includes data from 2007 to present, and offers a visual representation of the problem that UK motorists encounter regionally and financially.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.