NHTSA Study: Under-inflated and Worn Tires Increase Risk of Vehicle Accidents
Once your tires are close to failure it can be difficult to prevent vehicle accidents. As we enter fall there will be more rain and other poor weather conditions; tire problems combined with poor weather can dramatically increase the likelihood of a vehicle crash. Proper tire maintenance is an essential component in extending the life of your tires while reducing your risk of an accident.
Causes of failed tires that lead to vehicle accidents
When a tire blowout happens, the vehicle may roll or spin out of control. A vehicle that is out of control carries a high risk of causing a vehicle accident. Tire blow-outs and flats can happen because of:
- High-mileage that leads to low tread or no tread (bald tires)
- Bald or under-inflated spare tires
- Installing the wrong size tires for the vehicle
- Tires that are over or under-inflated
- Poorly recapped tire tread
- Defective or badly designed tires
For years Consumer Reports has advised drivers to check their car tires pressure every month to prevent uneven tire wear and tire failure that can lead to vehicle accidents. The organization was backed up in a 2012 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that found that vehicles driving on tires underinflated by more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a crash related to tire problems than vehicles with proper inflation. Tires underinflated up to 25 percent are at risk of overheating which can lead to tire failure or at a minimum negatively affect vehicle handling and tread life. Note that since 2008, cars systems are mandated to have a tire pressure monitoring system designed to alert a driver of a tire losing air pressure but that shouldn’t replace manual monthly tire pressure checks.
Tire tread depth
The NHTSA study also revealed that tire-related vehicle crashes increased as your tires tread wore down. Accident rates for tires with ample tread depth were at 2.4 percent compared to 26 percent for worn out tires (0 – 2 /32″ depth).
Take these steps to help reduce your risk of a vehicle crash due to tire problems:
- Buy a tire pressure gauge, check your tire pressure monthly and re-inflate to manufacturer recommended levels.
- Check for tire wear. Once your tires have reached 4/32″ tread depth it is time to start shopping for new tires before they wear down any further.
- Have your tires rotated every 10,000 miles so that the front and back set wear evenly.
If you were involved in a tire-related vehicle crash, call an experienced car accident lawyer today. He or she will evaluate your accident and help you fight for the settlement that you deserve.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!