Perils of potholes prompts periodic tire checks
ERJ staff report (TP)
Colchester, UK – Despite an extra £200m (€239.5m) being pledged in the UK budget to help fix potholes and damaged roads, British tire safety campaign group TyreSafe is urging drivers to make even more regular checks for damage to their tires and wheels. It warns that drivers failing to do so face an increased risk of being involved in a tire related accident.
"While the announcement of extra funds to help repair the UK's roads is welcome news, this will not happen overnight," said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. "In the meantime, it's critical that drivers pay particular attention to the condition of their tires 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 tire 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 tires 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 tire 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 tire specialist to have both the wheel rim and the tire examined."
Drivers can find their correct tire 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 tire pressures.
When checking pressures, TyreSafe also advises that drivers give the rest of the tire 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.
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Press release from TyreSafe
Tyre Pressure Check from TyreSafe
Free iPhone app from TyreSafe
Tire fitting centre locator from TyreSafe