As much as drivers find speed humps and potholes an annoyance, quite often they fail to consider the harm a bump or hole can do to their car. Tyres, in particular are at risk of serious damage.
Any driver will agree that speed humps are an irritation. Not only do they force drivers to suffer a bumpy ride but they also exacerbate some of the problems they are meant to solve. For example, speed humps in some shapes are actually smoother to go over more quickly. Speed humps can also increase noise and pollution because when cars do slow to traverse a hump, they generally accelerate again afterwards. Ironically, though designed to be speed retarders to prevent accidents, distracting drivers by making them negotiate high humps has in some cases proven to be more dangerous. On top of all of this, speed humps can badly damage your car meaning that people who live in areas plagued with humps have to spend more money on vehicle maintenance.
What damage can they do?
Speed humps can do a surprising amount of damage, particularly to tyres. Most commonly, humps damage the inside shoulders of car tyres and worryingly, here the damage cannot always easily be seen. This means that drivers may not become aware of the problem at all and a blowout could be caused which, especially if it were to occur at high speed, could be extremely dangerous or fatal. Humps can also damage suspension, steering and road springs.
Can damage be avoided?
Obviously where possible, if you can take an alternative route and avoid speed humps or cushions altogether, that is the safest thing to do. If driving over speed humps is unavoidable then the best thing drivers can do is ensure that they have the inside of their tyres regularly checked. Metre-wide, chamfered-edge speed cushions which are designed not to slow large vehicles are best driven over one wheel at a time, alternating wheels from hump to hump. Straddling speed cushions is much worse for the inside of your tyres.
Road repair is expensive which is why many roads across the UK still have bad potholes. Unfortunately, sometimes routes with large or numerous potholes are unavoidable but drivers should be aware that going over a pothole, even a small one, can damage or crack tyres. This can lead to greater problems such as deflation or bulging.
As potholes can do noticeable damage to car tyres, drivers should try to look out for common signs: Bulging in tyres, dents, leaks, rusting or suspension failure are all signs that a car has been damaged by potholes.
If a driver suspects that their car or tyres have been damaged after driving down a bumpy road either over humps, cushions or dents, it is essential that they visit a tyre repair or replacement specialist. Damaged tyres should always be repaired or replaced as quickly as possible to ensure that they are still road safe because leaving a problem to worsen could lead to a dangerous accident.