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State of roads causing increase in puncture breakdowns, says AA

The numbers of punctures rose over the last twelve months – and potholes are to blame, the AA has said.

MOTORISTS ARE SUFFERING more puncture-related breakdowns thanks to the disrepair of Irish roads, according to the AA.

Flat tyres caused 14,000 of the 100,000 callouts analysed by the organisation in a survey of the last 12 months, or 14 per cent of the total. In 2009 the figure was 12 per cent, and in 2010 it was 12.7 per cent.

AA spokesperson Noel Keogh said: “Given our pothole riddled roads it’s no real shock to see an increase in the number of punctures and damaged wheel rims this year.” However, he added that another contributing factor could be motorists keeping their cars for longer and replacing tyres less frequently during the recession.

The survey showed that flat batteries were by far the leading cause of breakdowns, accounting for more than a quarter of all callouts. But the proportion declined slightly against 2010 figures, from 30 per cent to 26 per cent.

“While this minor dip is surprising, it may well be down to the fact that many weaker batteries were weeded out during the Arctic conditions of the previous winter,” Keogh said.

Together, batteries and tyres cause almost 40 per cent of problems. The next biggest cause is the engine which causes just 3.3 per cent, followed by the clutch and the alternator.

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