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One in eight motorists had a vehicle breakdown in last 12 months

Electronic parking and tolling tag provider, easytrip has surveyed 5,000 motorists on breakdowns and tyre maintenance in the lead up to the Christmas driving period. The research revealed that one in eight drivers had experienced a vehicle breakdown in the last 12 months.

Breakdowns can happen at the most inconvenient time but the cause of it can determine how quickly the car can get back on the road. Based on the easytrip research the most common causes of a breakdown were revealed as follows:

1. Engine failure – 27 per cent
2. Battery failure – 24 per cent
3. Tyre damage – 20 per cent
4. Fuel issue – seven per cent

With tyre damage being a common mishap, the respondents to the research were also asked when they got a puncture what they would you do. While 64 per cent choose to change the defect tyre themselves, 29 per cent opted to call their breakdown cover for assistance.

Frequency of tyre checks
A vehicles main contact with the road is its tyres and for optimum driving, effective braking and good road traction it is advised that they be inspected on a weekly basis. However, when respondents to the easytrip survey were asked how often they examined their tyres, over 49 per cent did so only every few months or even just once a year while as little as 10 per cent were diligent carrying out weekly checks.

Tyre knowledge
Respondents were also asked what the minimum legal tyre tread depth was as an important part of a tyre check and 44 per cent of drivers admitted that they were unaware that it was at least 1.6mm. Alarmingly 69 per cent also didn’t know what the penalty was for driving with a defective or worn tyre which is two penalty points plus a fixed charge (or fine) of €80.

Commenting on the research, CEO of easytrip Ireland, Colin Delaney said: “As we approach a busy period on our roads, we wanted to highlight common breakdown causes and the importance of checking tyres regularly as they are our main contact with the road. The average Irish car age is eight years old meaning many Irish drivers need to ensure that they carry out regular maintenance of their vehicle including their tyres to maintain optimum driving conditions.

“It only takes three minutes to check tyres for any defects, bulges and to inflate them to the appropriate tyre pressure on a weekly basis. Likewise having the added peace of mind of breakdown roadside assistance means that you can continue your day to day motoring activities in the knowledge that you have the support available in the event of an incident occurring.”