An often overlooked part of car maintenance, tires are a vital factor in a car’s driving performance and overall safety. If properly cared for, a tire can last for thousands of miles more than average, improve gas mileage and decrease the risk of being a safety liability. Investing in your tires can be a simple and effective way to improve your overall driving experience and prevent a devastating traffic accident from occurring.
According to the NHTSA, 733 fatalities in auto accidents could be tied to a malfunction in one or more tires of a vehicle in 2016. In 2015, over 19,000 people were injured in accidents involving tire malfunctions. On average, there are 11,000 tire-related accidents every year.
Improper tire care can lead to a lack of traction when a driver needs to stop over a short distance. It can also result in loss of control when driving in poor weather, or worse, a tire blowout. Considering Americans put 3.2 million miles on their tires in 2016, many people possess tires that are likely in need of maintenance. Failure to do so creates a hazard to both the driver and others who share Connecticut roadways.
Things to keep in mind when maintaining your tires
There are many aspects of a tire’s condition to look out for. Air pressure, tread, balance and alignment, rotation, and size all play a role in performance.
Improper inflation can result in a blowout. A tire’s tread, the primary source of traction, wears down with extended use. If the tread fails the penny test, the tire should be replaced as soon as possible; otherwise, the car will be more susceptible to skidding or sliding while braking, especially in poor weather.
Balance and alignment ensure your tires don’t cause the vehicle to shake or veer off to the side, which improves your ability to handle your vehicle. Tire rotation should be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to prevent irregular wear from damaging the tires.
Aging can also affect the performance of tires. Most tires wear themselves out before this is an issue, but it’s important to remember for infrequent drivers or when tires are switched out each season. The aging process is sped up by improper storage, cold conditions, and sunlight. There are few explicit signs of aging, but a general rule is that tires should be replaced if they are four to six years old.
Proper tire maintenance will keep you and others safer on the road. However, if you or someone you know was injured in a car accident due to tire failure, contact an experienced Connecticut auto accident attorney. The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli will fight for you every step of the way.