Tire Safety and Keeping Your Ride on the Road
Most drivers change their oil appropriately, and of course have their cars inspected once a year. But many drivers don’t pay proper attention to their tires in between necessary trips to the mechanic. Keeping your tires in proper shape is a critical part of making sure that you, your passengers and your car stay safely on the road. Fortunately, making sure you keep your tires safe is relatively easy and doesn’t take much time at all.
Maintaining Your Tires
It is easy to forget that it is our tires that are helping our cars properly grip the road.Fortunately, most of the steps required to maintain your tire safety are easy and can be done throughout the year, either by yourself of through the help of a mechanic.
- Correct pressure
- Both under inflation and over inflation of tires are a problem. Most of the time, you will encounter under inflation due to regular wear, changes in temperature and other issues. An under inflated tire leads to irregular wear, which means you will have to replace your tires more frequently. In addition, an under (or over) inflated tire, can lead to loss of control due to a poor grip on the road.
- It is easy to check if your tire is inflated properly. Purchase a pressure gauge. It is easier to use one that has digital numbers. Then, compare the result of the test with the recommended PSI for your tire. The pressure information is often listed on a placard on your car somewhere. You can also look in your owner’s manual. Some cars require different pressure on front and rear tires, so keep an eye out. Be sure you go by required pressure for your car, not what is listed on the tire itself. This is because the tire may have different requirements on different cars.
- Also check to make sure that your tire valves have caps on them. Missing valves cause problems.
- Enough tread
- Check the tread on your tires to make certain it isn’t too low or wearing unevenly. Modern tires have tread wear indicators. These let you know when it is time to replace your tires. If you aren’t sure, grab a quarter and make sure that you cannot see the top of Washington’s head. If you can, start looking for new tires. Check in three locations on each tire. Outer, center and inner.
- While you are checking the tread, look and see if there are any foreign items stuck in the tires. Also look for cracks or other signs of problems.
- It is important that your tires are properly rotated. Tires wear differently on the front and the back, due to the different loads and actions required by your car. Your tires will last longer if you have them rotated properly. Check your owner’s manual for how often rotation is recommended. It is easy enough to add rotation to an oil change, every now and again.
- Tire balancing is necessary when you purchase a new tire, but also, if you feel any vibration. Make sure, if you get a new tire or take a tire off and put it back on for any reason, that you have the tire balanced. If you feel vibration, it could be that the balance is off in one or more of your tires. Ask a mechanic to check.
- If you feel like your car is pulling to one side, your wheels may not be properly aligned. Have the wheel alignment checked whenever you get new tires or if you notice that your car is not driving in a straight line, but rather is drifting or pulling.
Making sure you check for each of these items throughout the year is the key to maintaining tire safety, which in turn is key to keeping your car operating properly.
Bad Tire Safety Causes Crashes
If your tire blows or you experience a tread detachment, you will likely lose control of your car. Tires have a limited life and can only take so much damage. Doing everything you can to give your tires a long life through proper maintenance will not only save you money, it will help you avoid a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that if your tires are underinflated by more than 25% you are three times more likely to have a crash due. Correctly maintained tires can help you avoid a crash during the minimal seconds you have to respond to avoid someone else who is driving unsafely. Low tread depth increase your chances for an accident 26%. In addition, rollovers are more common in SUVs with tire problems. Trying to save money on bad or old tires is not worth it, in the end. Make sure you have the right, properly maintained tires for your automobile.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident because of someone’s failure to maintain tires, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for your medical or repair bills and for your lost wages and pain. Contact a Philadelphia auto accident lawyer of Lowenthal & Abrams, today at 888-979-7298 to see how we can help.