Travellers face more and more flat tires on the road, according to Belgian breakdown service VAB. Ten years ago, one in five calls for breakdowns abroad was on the emergency centre was for tire problems; today, that is 29%.
The increase in punctures is a result of various circumstances. One issue is the fact that the road surface abroad is often not optimal, that people keep driving with bad tires for too long, and that they do not check the tire pressure enough.
The use of mobile phones is another explanation, as those who are distracted will leave the road faster and drive into pits or hit the embroidery. In summer, the heat also makes the rubber on the tires softer, which automatically increases the risk of tire breakdown.
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Preventing tire breakdowns
The prevention of tire breakdowns is crucial this summer, especially because it will be a busy time for foreign repair services. “Parts will not always be available and there are also insufficient rental or replacement cars,” said VAB.
The organisation emphasises that it does everything it can to get customers home again if their car cannot be repaired.
In order to avoid a flat tire, it is best to check the tire pressure at least once a month and replace the tires in time. “Take a €1 coin and put it in the tire grooves. Is the gold rim of the coin visible? Then the tread depth is less than 3 millimetres and your tires need to be replaced,” the organisation says.
VAB also recommends not loading the car too heavily and watching out for sharp edges.