The AA blames potholes and lack of spare wheel on 2016 call-out increase
Roadside breakdown firm the AA has shared its figures from 2016, revealing that flat tyres were the most frequent cause for roadside call-outs, which the breakdown firm blames on a lack of motoring knowledge and failure to carry a spare wheel in modern vehicles.
The AA attended more than 180,000 instances of flat tyres in 2016, leading to an overall increase in year-on-year call-out incidents. A significant percentage of last year’s flat tyre call-outs required the presence of a breakdown mechanic because a spare wheel was not stored in the affected vehicle.
This is due to many modern cars not being fitted with a spare wheel as standard, as was once the case with new vehicles. The AA said a lack of basic mechanical knowledge is also a factor, while the poor condition of many British roads is causing the damaged tyres in the first place.
The UK government has been criticised for allowing a pothole epidemic to career out of control in England and Wales. Recent figures suggest it will take up to 14 years to repair all the potholes currently damaging vehicles up and down the country.
In a recent survey of 25,000 drivers, a worrisome 39% claimed that driving over a dangerous pothole had caused damage to their tyre and/or wheel.
The AA said that tyre issues have now become the number one reason for breakdown attendance, overtaking battery problems which had previously held the top spot.
In 2016, the AA received 3.63million calls from its members, compared to 3.45m in 2015; an increase of almost 200,000. To combat the increasingly prevalent problem of punctured tyres and lack of spare wheels, both the AA and the RAC have developed a special wheel which can be fitted onto 90% of all cars in an emergency.
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