New research from Kwik Fit has revealed that one in five car owners have had to replace a tyre within the last year as a result of damage to the sidewall.æ Drivers across the country are currently spending more than £439m per year replacing what are otherwise perfectly healthy tyres. The study found that the most common cause of sidewall damage is hitting a pothole.æ However, in a number of different cases drivers conceded that the damage was their fault due to hitting a kerb. Within the last two years, more than half (53 per cent) of all car owners said that their tyres or wheels have suffered damage of some kind, with 22 per cent admitting to hitting a pothole.æ 11 per cent experienced damage after hitting debris on the road. Road surfaces weren't the only cause of problems.æ One in ten drivers admitted to hitting a kerb while parking, slightly more than the 9 per cent who hit a kerb while driving.æ Women were less likely than men to have hit a kerb when parking (10 per cent of women v 11 per cent of men). Sheer forgetfulness was another cause for 4 per cent of drivers who said that their tyre wall had been damaged simply due to the fact that it was under-inflated.æ Driving any distance on a flat tyre (or even one with low pressure) can cause severe damage to the structure of the tyre wall, so it's vital for drivers to keep their tyres inflated to the correct levels. Despite the number of drivers that experienced damage, only one third said that they check their tyre sidewalls every month.æ Kwik Fit has urged drivers to regularly check their tyres with three things in mind: 'We recommend that drivers check their tyres every week, and certainly before making a long journey. 'Drivers should check pressure, tread and sidewalls. These factors are all interlinked _ the wrong pressure will lead to uneven tread wear and can damage the sidewalls. 'As a result they will shorten the life of a tyre, leading to unnecessary cost, but more importantly reducing the tyre's road holding performance.î