The state of your vehicle's tires may be an afterthought, but when the rubber meets the road, they serve a critical role in keeping you and your loved ones safe while driving.
Most people probably know the dangers of driving and using a cellphone, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in the past six years more people have died in crashes from tire defects than from cellphone use while driving.
And while it's easy to choose not to use your cellphone while operating your vehicle, tire blowouts and premature replacement can also be prevented with routine maintenance and by being careful to avoid road hazards while driving.
Common dangers of tire defects
Tire defects can originate from basic wear and tear or added wear and tear from misalignment or under-inflation. Blowouts – a dangerous scenario where the tire explodes and rapidly loses its air pressure – are also common but avoidable.
One of the top causes for tire failure is under-inflation, according to tires-easy.com. When a tire isn't properly inflated to its recommended air pressure level (this varies depending on the type of tire), it can flex at the sidewall, overheat, have degraded rubber over time, and possibly rupture in a tire blowout. Making sure to check your tire air pressure regularly may seem like an inconvenient task, but it's one that could end up saving your life. Proper inflation will also keep your tires from premature wear and tear, which will save you time and money.
Another culprit of tire defects can be rapid or irregular wear and tear due to misalignment or worn-out suspension parts. Wheel misalignment is the most prevalent reason for rapid or irregular tire wear, but damage can be prevented by making sure your vehicle's alignment is correct so the tread on the tires is worn down evenly over time.
Broken suspension parts that result in suspension issues in your vehicle can also wreak havoc on your tires, showing up in the form of cupping on the shoulder tread blocks or as diagonal stripes across the surface of the tread. If you spot any of these symptoms on your tires, be sure to bring it to a tire professional or service technician, and fix the suspension problems to help avoid future tire issues.
A final common cause for tire damage is an unexpected impact – usually caused by one of those pesky potholes or some other unforeseen road hazard. If the impact is hard enough it can cause a "pinch shock" and severely damage the tire, or cause a blowout.
To ensure your tires don't wear out quicker than they're supposed to – or worse yet suffer a blowout – be sure to keep tires inflated at the recommended levels, make sure your alignment is correct, fix problems with your vehicle's suspension, check for signs of unusual wear, and use extra caution to avoid road hazards like potholes.
Injured in a crash? Get legal help now!
Accidents caused by tire defects could be the fault of a negligent driver who failed to maintain his or her vehicle. In some cases, it may not be the fault of the driver. A tire defect that contributed to a crash could have been caused by error made by a mechanic or the tire manufacturer.
That’s why you’ll need an experienced Indiana car accident attorney at Boughter Sinak, LLC to handle your claim. We’ll explore every avenue when gathering evidence and building a solid case for you. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.