New research released this week shows that motorists are ill-prepared for a puncture, with 1.3 million (4%) of drivers admitting they don’t even know whether they have a spare wheel or not.
The study, carried out in the UK for Kwik Fit, found that a million (3%) motorists confess to not having any provision whatsoever for a flat tyre. With an estimated 8.8 million (26%) drivers suffering a puncture each year, this could lead to a quarter of a million cars being stranded at the roadside in the next 12 months.
And it’s not just the rubber that’s missing in some cars – 10% (2.9 million) of drivers who do carry a spare say they don’t have the necessary tools in their car to change it over should a tyre blow, while 36% (11.6 million) have the tools but admit they don’t know how to use them when it comes to swapping over a wheel and 6% (1.8 million) are short on both fronts and have neither the equipment nor knowledge to get a new wheel on.
There also seems to be confusion as a result of car manufacturers no longer offering full size spares as standard on some vehicles. One in ten motorists (3.3 million) who have a spare don’t know whether it’s a full-size spare or a low-speed space-saver, which could prove hazardous if a blowout happens on a long motorway journey.
Some manufacturers offer neither a full size spare or a space saver, instead providing drivers with a puncture repair kit. Over 4 million drivers (11%) have a puncture repair kit but the vast majority of them (3 million) don’t rely on the kit alone and also carry a spare, ensuring they are prepared for a double puncture.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The recent trend amongst car manufacturers to offer space-saver spares or puncture repair kits instead of full-size spare tyres could be the cause of this confusion amongst motorists. It’s is worrying how many drivers don’t know what provision they have for a puncture, but it’s even more of a concern to see how many have absolutely nothing in their car to deal with a deflated tyre.”
“For those who have recently bought a second hand car it’s also important that they assess the condition of the spare – there could be damage that isn’t obvious at a glance, and if it hasn’t been checked in a while it’s likely to be underinflated.”
“There are clearly gaps in knowledge around how to change a tyre, and indeed many cars are missing tools, which means even if a spare is carried some motorists will struggle to swap it over.”
Source – Fleet News, 30.04.12