Millions of people get into auto accidents each year. There are many, many possible causes. But one of the causes of accidents can be tires that blow out or fall off. TIRE SAFETY is something very few people think about, yet it is extremely important. As the advertising saying goes, “There’s a lot riding on your tires”. YOU! And your family. So follow these tips and best practices, shared with you by your Oklahoma City personal injury law firm. We encourage safe driving and vehicle maintenance at all times.
Every month or so, check your tire pressure to its proper inflation level (in pounds, found on the tire itself and or in your manual for your vehicle). You can buy a digital gage to simply hold up to the tire valve and easily check your pressure. Add air only to reach the correct level, no extra. Note that when tires are routinely underinflated this causes increased wear on the outside edges of your tires, reducing durability and increasing the chances of tire failure.
Rotate your tires every six months. Why? To prevent a lot of wear in ONE spot, which leads to a weak spot, which leads to blowouts. You want all four tires to wear evenly, so rotating them helps achieve this. Service stations and repair facilities provide this service inexpensively, especially when you are having another service done, such as an oil change (another good idea to do regularly).
If you buy new tires, REGISTER THEM. This way, if a defect is found in the tire you purchased, you will be notified. Sometimes, manufacturers find a flaw in a tire they have already distributed and sold, and then will recall the tire and offer free replacement.
Check the tread on your tires every couple months. Or especially, if you are heading on a lengthy trip. You need tread to grip the road. Low or no tread (bald tires) is dangerous, especially if the roads are wet. You’ll be much more likely to slide or hydroplane. An easy test is to stick a penny into the lowest tread area of your tire. Put Abe Lincoln’s head upside down, so top of his head goes down toward the tire, in the groove of your tread. If you see his whole head, and none of the top of his head is covered by your tire, then your tires are not safe and it’s time to replace them. You can google search The Penny Test for Tires and find video and detailed instructions on this.
If you are one of those “better safe than sorry” types and don’t want to trust your own visual inspection of your tires, just pull into a tire store or mechanic and ask them for a tire inspection. Some will do it for free, others for a small charge. Well worth it to know whether your tires are safe to drive on.
Remember, auto accidents claim lives. Too many lives. Our injury attorneys care about every Oklahoma driver, and encourage you to implement these tire safety tips. More on safe vehicles and safe driving will be shared in future articles.