Why your car is not a bumper car

Tyresafe has found that power-assisted steering and other comfort measures designed to make driving smoother might be fooling drivers into mistreating their tyres.

Bumping up uneven surfaces and touching against the kerb when reversing or parking can all cause impact damage to the tread and sidewalls of tyres, which makes them more liable to sudden failure, or even damage to the wheel rims or axle. By cushioning the feel of the knock, the motorist is fooled into thinking that the incident was less serious than it was.

Tyresafe suggests that a slow loss of air pressure, due to gradual deterioration, may be the first sign of a developing bulge or tear in the rubber.

Motorists should check that their tyres are inflated to the correct pressures, which can be found in the manual supplied with the car. They should also check for scuffs or embedded items in the tread patterns.

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