As the hotter summer months are upon us, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) advises all motorists to inspect their tire for proper inflation, tread wear and damage especially when traveling distances with a car or truck laden with camping gear, luggage and the family.
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said,:
“As the weather warms up, it’s especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated. For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation.“
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2005-2009, 3,400 people were killed and another 1116,000 people were injured in tire-related motor vehicle accidents.
Under-inflated tires on hot asphalt can have disastrous consequences. Under inflation and overloading are major causes of tire failure. NHTSA estimates that 8% of all cars and trucks have at least one under-inflated tire. When a tire is under-inflated it flexes more, the tires gets hot and it can explode. Tire failure can result in a serious motor vehicle accident.
Tire Safety Tips:
- Check your tire pressure frequently. It is almost impossible to determine whether your tire pressure is adequately inflated by sight. Tires lose air over time so you should check the tire pressure monthly. Going over potholes or striking an object or curb can also cause your tire to lose air pressure. Buy a pressure gauge and use it.
- Check the tire load limits and make sure you are not overloading your vehicle. Every vehicle has a “load limit” which is the greatest amount of weight a vehicle can carry based on the car design and the tires used.
- Check your tread wear and make sure you have sufficient tread. You can use the Lincoln head penny test — place a penny in the tread with Lincoln upside down and facing you. If you can see Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.
- Check for irregular tread wear. If your tires are not wearing evenly, they may be misaligned or need to be rotated. In this case, take your car or truck in for servicing.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.
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