There are few things more terrifying than having a tire blow out when you’re driving down the highway. Even if you escape unharmed, it’s a horrible experience, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11,000 tire-related accidents occur each year. Take the time to learn proper tire safety and maintenance practice, and you’ll protect not only yourself but also your loved ones and the other drivers with whom you share the roads.
- Keep an eye on the tire pressure. New vehicles typically come with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that indicates when pressure is low in any of your tires. However, many experts agree that an old-fashioned pressure gauge applied to the tire valve is still the best way to check tire pressure. Keep a manual gauge in your vehicle, and check the pressure of your tires at least once a month. Low tire pressure is the most significant cause of tire-related accidents, but over-inflated tires can cause issues like bulging along the tire walls and premature wear of the threads. Be aware that a TPMS will not monitor over-inflation.
- Regularly check tire tread. Tires need to be changed if the bridge in the groove is level with the top of the thread. You can also check your tires by putting a penny in the groove with Abraham Lincoln facing you. If the entire top of Lincoln’s head is visible, the tire needs to be replaced. Worn tires are hazardous, especially when driving in wet weather. For example, the stopping distance in standing water can increase by as many as 90 feet when your tire is worn.
- Visually inspect your tires each time you drive. You may be able to notice that the tires have issues before the pressure drops or the threads wear down, but only if you’ve been regularly examining your tires. Look for uneven wear, bulging sidewalls, missing rubber, or deep abrasions, and replace worn tires.
- Don’t drive on old tires. The rubber in tires older than six years of age can degrade and create a dangerous situation.
Sometimes tire-related accidents are the result of the owner or operator negligence. However, of the 11,000 accidents previously mentioned, about 700 of them are due to tire failure. If you’ve had an accident because of tire failure, talk to a personal injury attorney like the ones at the Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers.
Since 1990, the Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers has been committed to providing crucial legal guidance. We pay close attention to each case, giving one-on-one treatment to each of our clients because every case is unique. Our lawyers are among the best in Virginia, and we’ll put our more than 100 years of collective experience to work for you. We work hard to achieve the best possible results for every client we represent, so contact us for a free case analysis or call (703) 636-2182 today.