Jul 28 2009 Steve Hughes
Back ache shock for drivers
THE real reason for suffering back ache behind the wheel could be something more shocking than an uncomfortable seat.
This is the finding of Kwik-Fit, which reckons that worn shock absorbers could be the culprit in many cases.
As their name implies, they are there to absorb shocks from the vehicle's pounding of the road, which would otherwise be transmitted to the vehicle occupants.
According to Kwik-Fit, more than two and a half million motorists in the UK have endured back ache during the past 12 months.
More than half of motorists suffering backache behind the wheel approached a professional to check over their car and one-in-three found that the root cause was a worn suspension system.
Almost four million UK motorists complained that the ride comfort of their car had worsened in the past year. While backache was the most common complaint, headaches, neck aches and bouts of sickness were also reported.
Kwik-Fit customer services director David White, says: ``It seems that driving a car on poor shock absorbers can give you backache and numerous other health problems. More importantly it can also put yours and other road users' lives at risk.'
As well as absorbing impacts and making journeys more comfortable, a suspension system helps to keep tyres firmly in contact with the road, which assists braking and road holding. At 30mph a worn shock absorber can add up to two metres on to a car's braking distance.
The company offers free shock absorber checks but motorists can detect problems themselves by simply pushing down sharply the vehicle corners and if the bodywork bounces the shocker beneath needs replacing.