Potholes are ripping tyres apart

Holes in the UK's roads are putting motorists at serious risk

Badly maintained and unfinished roads are putting driver safety at significant risk more than ever before according to TyreSafe, Britain’s foremost tyre safety organisation.

A recent study revealed that damage from potholes and bad road surfaces amounted to a worrying £320 million in 2006, with Scotland topping the list for some of the worst roads.  The failure of local authorities to act quickly enough is becoming an ever increasing source of complaints.

Motorists are frequently unable to avoid or see even the smallest of potholes, with danger being significantly increased at night, and during conditions of reduced visibility. On many occasions, the internal damage to the tyre may not be immediately visible, and is frequently hidden away from view. Damage may often only be seen weeks or months later following the impact. The driver may also be unaware of any damage to the tyre until a potentially catastrophic failure occurs, thus putting the vehicle occupants and other road users at risk. Furthermore, at high speed, alignment of the wheel may be altered, thereby promoting uneven tyre wear and subsequent tyre blow-outs.

Whilst it should be common practice for motorists, TyreSafe says that one method of reducing damage to tyres caused by potholes is to maintain them at the correct pressure level, as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Although this can extend the life of the tyre by up to 40%, under-inflation or over-inflation can cause even greater structural damage both to the rim and tyre when a vehicle makes contact with a pothole.

If a motorist suspects any level of damage, they should visit their nearest dealer or tyre retailer to examine their tyres for any faults. This could make all the difference.

19 March 2007 Staff

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