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Hot wheels … motorists urged to check their tyres amid heatwave

Applying sun cream and drinking plenty of water aren’t the only measures Brits should be taking amid sweltering temperatures this week, as a road safety charity has also urged motorists to check their tyres.

The Met Office issued its first ever ‘red warning’ for extreme heat in England, with temperatures reaching a record 40 degrees in some regions.

This has led the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, to urge motorists to carry out tread and pressure checks on their tyres, as the risks associated with poorly maintained tyres, such as bubbling, punctures or even blowouts, could be exacerbated by the intense heat.

However, research conducted by the charity has revealed that motorists, on average, are not carrying out these tyre checks as often as they should be, worsening the potential impact of the scorching temperatures.

The charity surveyed 1,004 motorists on how often they conducted tyre checks and discovered that all routine vehicle checks are being carried out much less frequently than they should be.

Respondents admitted to only checking their tyre pressure once every 7.2 weeks, even though the recommendation is once a fortnight. Furthermore, those surveyed also answered that they only check their tyre treads every 10.5 weeks, despite the fact that these should also be checked once every two weeks.

Meanwhile, vehicle coolant checks are also often neglected, with respondents stating that they check their vehicle’s coolant every 11.6 weeks, even though it is recommended that this is checked every two weeks, or before a long journey, especially in hot weather.

Rebecca Ashton, Head of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented:

“In the midst of a UK and European heatwave, it’s vital that we do all we can to protect our health and wellbeing. While things like limiting your sun exposure and staying hydrated are perhaps more obvious aspects to staying safe, an often-overlooked exercise is checking your car.

Worryingly, our research has revealed that motorists are not conducting tyre checks as often as they should be, and the soaring temperatures could bring the issues associated with this to the fore. We would urge motorists to ensure they make these routine tyre and vehicle checks more often in such extreme conditions.”

Rebecca also issued some words of advice to those driving in the heat this summer:

“Driving in hot temperatures will bring a new set of challenges to motorists in the coming weeks. To ensure we keep our roads as safe as possible, I would encourage drivers to keep their cool behind the wheel, no matter how hot it gets!”

To learn more about IAM RoadSmart’s top driving and riding tips, visit www.iamroadsmart.com.

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