Tyre Checks for Pothole Damage
Potholes are an increasing problem on the roads, putting you and your vehicle at risk of harm. They are caused by water and traffic: water weakens the soil beneath the road while traffic applies the pressure that stresses the road past breaking point.
Potholes form over time, first causing road surface fatigue, which leads to a road failure pattern referred to as crocodile cracking, and finally causing chunks of the road surface between the crocodile cracks to come loose, which may eventually be forced out of the surface of the road by traffic.
If a pothole becomes large enough, it can damage tyres, and lead to wheel alignment and suspension problems. It can also cause serious road traffic accidents, especially on roads where vehicles travel at high speeds.
Carrying out tyre checks for pothole damage
The effects of pothole damage happen gradually, causing unevenly worn tyres, compromising steering, and increasing braking distances and fuel consumption. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your vehicle by carrying out regular checks of your tyres.
Check your tyre pressures
Maintaining correct tyre pressures is important for a number of reasons. Over or under inflated tyres are more susceptible to damage and can affect the grip and braking performance of your vehicle. They also put you at risk of being fined, endangering lives and invaliding your vehicle insurance.
You should check your tyre pressures at least once every two weeks. You will find the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle in your vehicle handbook and on a label found inside the driver’s side door frame or doorpost.
Perform visual inspections
You should regularly inspect your tyres for cuts, lumps and bumps, all of which can result from driving over potholes. If damage is present, you should seek further inspection from a qualified tyre specialist.
Protecting yourself while on the roads
In addition to carrying out basic tyre checks, you should protect yourself and your vehicle by keeping an eye out for potholes, particularly on wet roads where deep potholes may lurk beneath puddles. If you notice a pothole, you should watch your speed, as hitting potholes at higher speeds can cause greater damage to your vehicle. You should also avoid applying your brakes when driving over a pothole, as braking tilts your vehicle forward, placing greater stress on the front suspension. The best course of action is to hold your steering wheel correctly, making sure your hands are in the ’10 to 2’ position, and allow your wheel to roll freely into the pothole.
If you hit a pothole and suspect your vehicle may have sustained damage, you should get your tyres checked by a tyre specialist. Striking a pothole can affect your vehicle’s wheel alignment, which can lead to rapid or uneven tyre wear.
Claiming compensation for pothole damage
If your vehicle is damaged by a pothole, you may have a right to claim compensation. In most cases, you will need to make your claim against your local council. Your chances of successfully receiving compensation will depend on whether or not the council was aware of the pothole. If the council was not aware of the pothole, you may not be able to hold them responsible for the damage to your vehicle.
Here at Tyres Northampton, we offer tyres from the leading manufacturers and budget alternatives alike. If you would like to know more about what we do, please feel free to get in touch with us today and we will be happy to help.