In April 2020, data from Apple Mobility Trends suggested that Australian motorists were driving 70 per cent less compared with January 2020. In the past couple of months vehicle usage has increased and requests for driving directions in Apple Maps has returned to baseline levels.
“We poured over mobility data from Apple, Google and the local transport authorities,” said William Ng, Marketing Manager Falken Tyres Australia. During COVID-19 we found that vehicles were being used less in every state and territory; no doubt thanks to the prevalence of working from home.”
With the reduction of vehicle usage, the method in which the vehicles were parked and stored affected tyre conditions. When cars are not driven and are parked for certain periods, flat spots can occur on the tyres.
There are three types of flat spots: temporary, semi-permanent and permanent. All three kinds of flat spots will cause a ride disturbance.
Falken says temporary flat spots will disappear once the tyre has reached operating temperature; allowing the tyre to regain shape. Semi-permanent flat spots can be removed by an authorised tyre dealer or by driving so the tyre reaches operating temperature and then either removing the tyre(s) and storing horizontally or placing the vehicle on jack stands. Permanent flat spots are not repairable.
Incorrect tyre pressure and colder temperatures can increase the risk of a tyre flat spot.
If the vehicle is parked for extended periods of time, Falken recommends storing the vehicle on jack stands, usage of wheel dollies or increasing tyre pressures. Increasing the tyre pressure from as little as 3psi can reduce the occurrence of flat spots.