By Denna Bowman
Motorists are being urged to make sure their vehicle tyres are properly inflated in order to minimise the damaging effects of driving over potholes.
Driving over a pothole can cause serious internal damage to tyres, according to TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation.
The damage could result in dangerous sidewall bulges or cause cuts to the tyre which may expose cords, rendering it both dangerous and illegal.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, warned: “Potholes can cause significant damage to wheels and tyres. It’s therefore important for drivers to ensure their tyres are properly inflated to reduce any potential damage.”
As well as causing cuts and bulges to the tyres, driving over a pothole could also lead to hairline fractures in alloy wheels.
Mr Jackson said: “Whatever time of year it is motorists should always check their tyre pressure at least once a month and especially if they are planning any long journeys.”
It has been estimated that in 2010 there were 8,000 pot hole related claims to insurers and the early signs are that 2011 will exceed this due to the damage caused to roads during the freezing weather.
Local authorities are also facing pressure as to which roads they prioritise for repair due to cuts of up to 20 per cent in road maintenance budgets. According to the Local Government Association, Councils in England and Wales face a £165m funding gap to repair roads damaged by the winter weather.