Punctures ‘most feared inconvenience’ to UK drivers

Getting a puncture is the biggest fear among motorists about to drive off for a holiday, recent research claims, yet few actually check their tyres at all.

The survey, commissioned by website mytyres.co.uk, revealed that 63% of drivers believe getting a puncture is the main stress or inconvenience they are likely to experience on the road, but at the same time just 12% of participants inspect the condition of their cars’ rubber.

As the sole points of contact between the car and the road, tyres are crucial to road safety in all its forms. However, left unchecked they can cause problems including reduced grip, increased fuel consumption or even dangerous blowouts, so checking them is very important.

See that your tyres have more than 2.5-3.0mm of tread depth. The legal minimum is just 1.6mm, but tyre experts say that tyres on that limit can’t clear water as effectively as fresher ones, and are more likely to lose grip in wet weather.

Tyre pressures are also easy to check. The recommended pressures will often be on a sticker on the end of the driver’s door, or in the manual. Too much pressure can reduce grip, while underinflated ones sap fuel and build up too much heat, potentially leading to a blowout.

Look for uneven tyre wear across the width of the tread. If you see it, your wheels might be out of alignment and that means you’ll wear tyres out much faster than you otherwise would – a costly fault.

Finally, make sure you have dust caps fitted to your tyre valves to stop air leaking out or dirt damaging them, and feel for any constant vibration through the steering wheel at higher speeds. It might be a sign that your tyres are out of balance.

Following this advice will help keep your tyres in tip top condition, reducing the chance of any summer holiday nightmares.

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