Adults in America love to drive. In fact, we drive approximately 3 billion miles a year.
That’s a lot of miles on a lot of tires.
Not surprisingly – tire issues cause close to 11,000 car accidents every year. And some 200 drivers die annually in those car crashes.
So, are tires one of the most important safety features on cars and trucks?
So how can you keep you and your family safe when it comes to tires?
It all starts with tire maintenance. Poor tire maintenance such as not keeping them properly inflated and failing to rotate them regularly are leading causes of tire failure.
Here are five tire maintenance tips to help you avoid a tire-related car accident in Connecticut.
- Proper tire pressure is crucial to tire maintenance. Check your tire pressure on all four tires and the spare monthly – when the tires are “cold” (meaning the car has not been driven for at least 3 hours). If you have a newer car – you may have an under-inflation warning on your dashboard. This warning typically lights only if a tire is significantly underinflated – so a monthly check of pressure levels is important.
- Tire tread is vital to tire safety as it is that tread that allows a tire to hold the road. A tire becomes unsafe when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch or less. All tires now have a tread indicator – a raised section of rubber that stands in the groove of each tire. When that tread indicator is even with the level of your tread – you must get new tires.
- Balance and align your tires/wheels. Tire balancing ensures that your tires wear evenly – as an unbalanced tire tends to shake as it rolls – thus wearing tread unevenly. Wheel alignment allows your tires to track properly, which in turn allows the vehicle to track properly without undue tire wear.
- Tire rotation also matters. Unless you have a vehicle that specifically advises against rotation due to unequal tire size, it is recommended that tires be rotated according to manufacturer specifications at least every 5-8,000 miles. Conscientious rotation extends tire life significantly.
- Never use tires not recommended for your vehicle. Installing tires of an improper size can create significant vehicle instability, leading to loss of control and a car accident.
Should you ever have the misfortune of having a tire fail suddenly (a blow-out), don’t panic. Instead, follow these suggestions:
- Hold onto the steering wheel with both hands.
- Maintain your speed if it is safe to do so.
- Gradually release the accelerator.
- Correct the steering as necessary to stabilize the vehicle.
- Once the car is stable, continue to slow the vehicle and pull off to the side of the road.
Remember – an overreaction to a blow-out can quickly lead to loss of control.
If you’re ever injured in a car accident of any kind, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.