This week (May 29th – June 4th) marks National Tire Safety Week, a time when drivers can learn how to avoid tire-related accidents by keeping their vehicle’s tires in good, working order. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 11,000 tire-related accidents happen every year. But the organization says many of these crashes can be prevented with proper tire maintenance, which includes keeping an eye on tire pressure, tread, alignment and rotation.
Tire Pressure: When a tire is under-inflated or over-inflated, it is more susceptible to damage and can pose vehicle handling issues – which could ultimately lead to an auto accident. In order to avoid tire failure, it is important to maintain the proper “inflation pressure” in your vehicle’s tires. Your vehicle manufacturer provides this specific tire pressure number; look for it printed on your vehicle’s door edge, inside the glove box, on the door of the fuel tank, or inside the owner’s manual. Some vehicles are also equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts drivers when tires are 25% under-inflated.
Tread: According to the NHTSA, U.S. drivers collectively put more than 2.9 billion miles on their vehicle’s tires every year. All that driving causes the tread of the tire to wear down over time, which leads to a loss of traction. The NHTSA advises drivers to replace their tires when the tread is down to 2/32 of an inch. Some tires have “wear bars” which will appear when the tread is too low and the tire needs to be replaced. Drivers can also use the “penny test.” Place a penny upside down into the tire tread. If Lincoln’s head is partially covered – the tread is okay. If you can see his entire head – it is time to replace the tire.
Alignment: If your vehicle’s tires are improperly aligned, it can cause the tread on your tire to unevenly and quickly wear out. Misalignment can also create vehicle handling issues. The NHTSA advises drivers to have their tire alignment and balance checked periodically, and to be cognizant of any navigation issues (ex: the vehicle is “pulling” left or right).
Rotation: Similar to tire alignment, tire rotation helps prevent irregular wear on your vehicle’s tires, as well as prevents vehicle handling issues. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should include recommendations for how often you should rotate your vehicle’s tires. But if not, the NHTSA recommends rotating the tire every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. (During that time, you can also check on the tire inflation, tread, and alignment).
The National Tire Safety Week serves as a reminder to drivers about the importance of tire care: regular maintenance means safer cars. It can also save drivers money, because tires which are properly inflated, aligned and balanced do not need to be replaced as often. Tire maintenance can be an effective way of avoiding a collision, but accidents can still happen. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident and need help with a property damage or personal injury claim, give Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore a call today at (404) 436-1529.