Tire Safety Prevents Accidents
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), under-inflated and over-inflated tires severely increase the risk of accident and injury. Hydroplaning in wet conditions, skidding, and losing control are all results of improperly inflated tires. In addition, they can have an adverse affect on your vehicle’s overall fuel economy.
Newer cars and trucks are all equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, which are now required by law. These systems are able to detect when a tire is more than 25 percent below its recommended level of inflation. However, using a tire pressure monitoring system as a substitute for routine maintenance can lead to disaster. Even highly effective monitors cannot detect all tire maintenance issues. Their sole purpose is to alert you when tires are improperly inflated. Poor sidewalls and tread can be equally dangerous. Below is a list of tips to help you keep your tires in the safest possible condition.
Tire Safety Tips
- Perform tire pressure self-checks. While under-inflation is the most common tire safety issue, over-inflation can be just as hazardous, as over-inflated tires tend to wear unevenly. Improperly inflated tires may handle poorly and cause overheating, which can result in a dangerous blow-out. The average tire loses approximately one pound per square inch of pressure for every 10 degree temperature drop. They also naturally lose air over time. In fact, all-season tires can have a pressure loss of as much as 13 pounds per square inch annually. Make sure to check your tire pressure every month, even if you have a monitoring system. Perform the self-check when your vehicle and tires are cool. Read the vehicle’s placard and make sure the tires match the recommended pressure.
- Check the tread and sidewalls. Cuts, gashes, and bulges are signs of future failure. If you notice this kind of damage, replace the tires. You can use a tread-depth gauge to check your tread. Uneven wear may be the result of misaligned wheels or worn suspension. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to balance the wear and tear between the front and rear of the vehicle.
- All four tires should be replaced at the same time. Although it may seem logical to only replace two tires if the others appear safe, this can be risky. For example, if you replace only the front tires, it increases the risk of fishtailing. Alternatively, if you replace only the rear tires, the risk of hydroplaning increases. However, if you must replace only two tires, place the new tires in the rear, shuffling the used rear tires to the front if necessary.
- Replace tires when they’ve run their course. Even without regular use, tires become unsafe after a certain period of time. Many motor vehicle manufacturers, such as BMW and Ford, recommend replacing tires every six years. Buy the newest tires possible, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended replacement guidelines. Never use a tire that is ten years old or more. Most tires will wear out before age becomes an issue, but there are exceptions to this rule.
The bottom line is, dangerous tires create dangerous driving conditions. Regular checks and maintenance are essential to your safety and the safety of everyone you share the road with.
Horn Law – Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The Kansas City-based firm of Horn Law has recovered more than $18 million for clients in the last five years alone. We focus on all facets of personal injury law, and we will dedicate our full resources to your case. Whether you think the accident was the result of faulty or defective tires, another driver’s negligence, or dangerous driving conditions, we can help. Contact Horn Law today for a free consultation on your case.