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Why 7.7 Million Aussies at Risk of Being Stranded

May 22, 2024 10:51 am in by Trinity Miller

Aussies better keep their fingers crossed for smooth roads because 7.7 million of us might be stuck if we get a flat tyre. A survey by Finder, a financial comparison site, uncovered that 37% of Australians don’t know how to change a tyre.

“That’s an estimated 7.7 million Australians who can’t perform the once vital roadside repair,” said Gary Ross Hunter, Finder’s car insurance expert. “Changing a tyre could become an endangered life skill.”

The study highlights that each generation is becoming less adept at this essential task. While 84% of Baby Boomers can change a tyre, only 65% of Gen X, 53% of Gen Y, and 49% of Gen Z share this skill.

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Gender plays a part too, with twice as many men as women knowing how to change a tyre. Residents of New South Wales are the least likely in Australia to possess this skill.

“Manual tasks like car maintenance and home repairs are increasingly being outsourced,” said Hunter. “Aussies are much quicker to jump on Google to fix a problem than look for tools. That leaves many who don’t know how to fix a flat and don’t have roadside assistance to bail them out. Millions of Aussies would be caught out if they had a tyre puncture in peak hour traffic.”

Image via GettyImages

Are You Ready for a Flat?

Many licensed drivers today lack the basic life skill of changing a flat tyre. Like blacksmithing and coopering, tyre changing might soon be a relic of the past. A survey by Finder, Australia’s top financial comparison site, revealed that over a third (37%) of Australians are in the dark when it comes to changing a flat tyre.

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“That’s an estimated 7.7 million Australians who can’t perform the once vital roadside repair,” noted Gary Ross Hunter from Finder. “Changing a tyre could become an endangered life skill.”

The survey, based on responses from 1,071 people, unearthed some intriguing facts:

Twice as many men (84%) compared to women (42%) claim they can change a tyre.

The ability to change a flat is fading with each generation—84% of Baby Boomers can, but only 65% of Gen X, 53% of Gen Y, and 49% of Gen Z can.

NSW residents are the least likely to know how to change a tyre, with only 57% knowing how, compared to 70% of Queenslanders.

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“Manual tasks like car maintenance and home repairs are increasingly being outsourced,” said Hunter. “Many Aussies would be stranded without roadside assistance to save them. Millions would be caught out if they had a tyre puncture in peak hour traffic.”

Getting Prepared

Roadside assistance is a handy service, especially if you’re not confident in changing a tyre. Hunter recommends checking your car insurance, as many providers offer roadside assistance as an inclusion or optional extra. It’s often cheaper to have this cover in advance than to sign up on the spot during an emergency.

If adding an extra expense isn’t feasible, learning to change a tyre could be your best bet. Familiarize yourself with your car’s manual and practice at home when you’re not under pressure. Investing in a good-quality lug wrench and gloves can make the job easier and cleaner.

Ultimately, safety is paramount. “If you feel uncomfortable at any point during the process, don’t hesitate to call for roadside assistance,” Hunter said. “It’s always better to be safe than risk injuring yourself or further damaging your car.”

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Revamping Education

To keep this critical skill from disappearing, we should integrate practical life skills like tyre changing into education. Schools and community programs could offer hands-on workshops. Encouraging everyone to learn these essential skills will ensure we’re all ready to tackle roadside challenges confidently. After all, a little preparation can save a lot of trouble down the road!

Looking to take your car knowledge to the next level? Check out the Automotive Diagnostic Podcast on the free iHeartRadio app.

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