Shropshire Star

Nearly 50 per cent of breakdowns on motorways are caused by tyres – study

Recent study by Claims management and Adjusting found that loss of power and running out of fuel were other common incidents on motorways and A roads.

Wheel Car Flat Tyre Damaged

Tyre-related issues are said to be the most common causes of breakdown on Britain’s motorways and A-roads, a recent study conducted by motor insurance loss adjuster Claims Management and Adjusting (CMA) has revealed.

In February of this year, a freedom of information (FOI) request to National Highways by CMA confirmed that tyre-related issues were rising.

In 2021, there were 5,934 incidents and in 2022 that figure had risen to 7,095. The data revealed that incidents caused by tyre issues had jumped even higher still to 7,762 in 2023, which equated to 47.6 per cent of all breakdowns recorded.

Delving deeper into the data, CMA found that 18.6 per cent of breakdowns were related to a loss of power, 7.7 per cent to engine faults, seven per cent of reports were from running out of fuel and 4.7 per cent were clutch and gearbox related.

Philip Swift, Technical Director at Claims Management and Adjusting said: “From a fleet and insurance perspective, this new data gives a great insight into highway claims costs.

“The first thing we noted was that the cause of many incidents was not specified. Stripping these out, the true scale of the tyre problem became shockingly obvious – they have increased year-on-year since 2021 and now cause half of all highway breakdowns.”

Swift also says there has been a worrying rise in ‘swerve to avoid’ and ‘tyre blowout’ claims, stating that if an incident was caused by debris that should have been cleared from the road, far from accepting blame, there could well be a case for making a ‘red claim’ for any damage to vehicles.

He added: “A further factor to consider is the high number of vehicles now fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). These days, there’s often hard evidence with which to either refute a claim against a driver or pursue the relevant authority if appropriate.”

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