Tyres, bad road surfaces and safe driving

Published: 07/20/2022

Here at Peter Hanley Motors, we take tyre safety very seriously. Your tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the road. A reliable set of tyres is essential for safe driving.  It is wise to check the depths, pressure, and the general condition of your tyres on a regular basis.   In April, this year AA Ireland surveyed over 5,000 motorists and found that tyre damage was the most likely caused by a run-in with poorly maintained roads. Of the motorists who reported damage to their cars because of problem Irish roads, 35% reported wheel rim damage and over 60% said that one or more tyres were punctured.  16% of motorists reported damage caused by potholes.  It is true that Irish roads have improved over the years, but we still need to be cautious for the odd pothole or an overzealous speed bump. 

Damage to tyres can be minimized by having the correct air pressure in each tyre and by slowing down as you approach a pothole or rough road surfaces, if you cannot avoid them.  Hitting rough road or speed bumps at speed increases damage to the tyres, the struts, the wheels, shocks, and springs.   Tyre pressure is a simple fix and it might save you some money. What many drivers don’t realise is that driving with tyres that are correctly pressurised actually saves you money on fuel consumption.   An underinflated tyre may cost you money in fuel consumption, which is something that no driver wants in the current climate of rising fuel prices.  An over inflated tyre runs the risk of blow-out on the road. 

 Driving on bumpy surfaces can misalign your wheels as the sudden jarring to the vehicle takes its toll.  If you feel the car pulling a bit to one side when you are driving on a straight road, you can take it as a message to get your wheel alignment checked.  Aligned wheels extend the life of the tyres.  Wheel balancing and wheel alignment is not the same thing . Wheel alignment means adjusting the wheel angles so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground while balancing means the weight of the tyre and the wheel are balanced to spin smoothly at high speeds.  A vibrating steering wheel is one of the indicators that the wheels may need to be balanced. Tyres that have uneven wear and worn-out suspension components are also symptoms of unbalanced tyres.  Again, there are fuel savings to be made if your wheels are perfectly balanced, so it is money well spent.

Tyres are an expensive outlay for any motorist but you should never underestimate their importance.  Don’t go bald.  Invest in new tyres if you need them.  Your life, and those of your loved ones, may depend on it.  Having good tyres may save your life. Even if the roads you travel on are not perfect. You should give yourself every chance to drive safe and be able manoeuvre smoothly or stop the car fast if you need to. 

If you have any concerns about your tyres, drop into us here at Peter Hanley Motors for a tyre safety check.  We will check the depth of the tyres and inspect for uneven wear, for cracks or rubber fatigue and check the spare tyre.

Peter Hanley Motors is a registered
member of The Society of the Irish
Motor Industry

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