Air bags and stability control systems that limit skidding attract the most headlines these days when it comes to automobile safety. But the most important safety equipment on your vehicle could be the tires.
Most significantly, crash rates were highest if tires were underinflated by 25 percent of the recommended pressure. Tires with lower tread depths also showed a greater chance of being involved in a crash. Also, vehicles with serious tire problems were much more likely to roll over during accidents. Forty-five percent of sport utility vehicles with tire problems rolled over when they crashed, the study shows.
The seriousness of issues with underinflated tires prompted the federal transportation regulators to require auto manufacturers to place tire pressure monitoring systems in vehicles.
Still, tire problems continue to cause accidents on our nation’s roads each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that taking proper care of your vehicle’s tires will:
- Make your vehicle handle better
- Protect you and other motorists from breakdowns and accidents
- Give your car better mileage
- Allow your tires to last longer
NHTSA recommends that motorists follow these simple guidelines to make their vehicles safer:
- Once a month, check your vehicle’s tire pressure, including the spare.
- Keep a tire gauge in your vehicle and follow the recommended inflation levels on your door or owner’s manual.
- Inspect your tires regularly for uneven tread wear in addition to cracks, foreign objects, and other signs of damage.
- Remove rocks, glass, and other objects that get wedged into the treads.
- Ensure your tire valves have valve caps to keep from losing air.
- If you’re planning a long trip, make the tires priority by checking the pressure and looking for damage.
- Avoid overloading the vehicle and placing too much weight on your tires.
- Make note of the tire information placard or check the owner’s manual to see the maximum recommended vehicle load.
- If you’re pulling a trailer, remember that it will put a greater burden on your tires.
- Check NHTSA’s web site, “Tire Safety: Everything Rides on It,” for a comprehensive tire protection plan.
If you’re involved in an automobile crash caused by a faulty tire or worn out tire in Atlanta, you may have a right to seek compensation. A car-accident attorney can help you determine if your wreck was caused by another driver’s failure to replace old tires, a repair shop’s poor tire work or a manufacturer’s defect.
Contact an experienced attorney today to help you navigate the legal system and ensure you receive the best award possible to cover damages.