Electric car and SUV drivers warned of ‘popping tyres’ and £10,000 fine risk

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Britons have been revelling in the warm temperatures for the past few weeks, with many enjoying the near-uninterrupted summer weather.

While the Met Office has issued two separate yellow weather warnings for thunderstorms over the weekend, temperatures will remain high.

With the warm weather continuing, many will be out on the roads, potentially travelling on a short staycation or going on holiday.

However, experts are warning all motorists to keep an eye on their tyres to stop them from being damaged or even popping.

Neil Westwood, from myev HUB, highlighted how the high temperatures can play havoc with tyre pressure and therefore cause major problems.

Tyres can withstand most road conditions including potholes, but even the highest quality tyres have a breaking point, Mr Westwood said.

He added: “So if the sun has been beating down all day and the tarmac on the roads is hot, they can start to overheat.

“This means the molecules in the compressed air inside them will begin to vibrate at a higher frequency and expand, with the potential to cause damage.

“In extreme cases this could lead to them popping, which is obviously a danger if you are travelling at any speed but a nightmare if you are on the motorway or fast A road.”

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With the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles less than seven years away, electric cars are becoming some of the most popular vehicles on the road.

Mr Westwood said that with the increase of electric vehicles and heavier SUV-type vehicles, there would be more strain on their suspension and road rubber as a result of the weight.

Friction from the road surface is another factor in raising the temperature of tyres, especially with larger vehicles.

Neil Westwood continued, saying: “It is imperative to keep tyres inflated to the recommended levels at all times, but especially during a heatwave.

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“Many EVs come with specialist tyres that are harder wearing. But if they do become damaged it is worth bearing in mind that not only is it dangerous, it could earn you a hefty fine and even a driving ban.”

If someone is stopped by the police and found to have illegal tyres, they could receive a £2,500 fine and three penalty points per tyre – a total cost of £10,000 and 12 points.

To save themselves from a massive fine, drivers can simply use a 20p coin. The coin should be inserted into the grooves along the top of the tyre and if the outer band of the coin is not visible, they are legally safe.

According to research from Highways England, only one in six drivers remember to check their tyre pressure before setting off on a long journey.

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