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If you are like most Floridians, you drive your car everywhere, never stopping to worry that your tires may not give you enough traction to keep you in control of your vehicle. However, bad weather conditions, road debris and poorly maintained roads can all impact your car’s tires, so you must always plan ahead.
A recent report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that 1 in 20 auto accidents may be caused by tire-related issues. According to the NHTSA, under-inflated tires seem to cause the most accidents. In fact, a tire 25 percent below its rated pressure is three times more likely to become involved in some type of collision.
The following is a list compiled by the NHTSA that is recommended for all drivers to perform one a month. It only takes five minutes to conduct and could reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.
Check Tire Pressure. This is very important to do. Make sure your tire is filled to the range indicated in your vehicle manufacturer’s owner’s manual. If a Tire Pressure Warning light pops up on your dash, understand that you need to fill your tires immediately as once this light is illuminated, the tire pressure is now at an unsafe level. Under-inflation can seriously affect your ability to steer, properly execute turns and slow down.
Inspect Tread Wear. Do this for all four tires, paying close attention to any bulges, cracks and other signs of wear. Tires with little or no tread can easily lose traction when you’re accelerating, turning or braking and cause your vehicle to skid. Remember, all tires have a tire-wear bar so that you can compare your current tread to this and see if it is time to replace your tires.
Check Wheel Alignment. Whenever you notice your vehicle pulling to one side or even after you have hit a curb or accelerated over a speed bump, it is a good idea to check your vehicle’s wheel alignment. This should be performed very year, at the very least.
Rotate Tires Regularly. This is done to prevent uneven wear. It is best to rotate from front to back and side to side, because this maintains even tread wear. However, new studies out suggest tire rotation can actually create more harm than good, so always seek the help of an automotive professional you trust before doing anything.
Check your Tires for Problems Related to your Driving Habits. Visually inspect your tires once a month for any signs of wear and tear that may have been caused by your driving practices. Objects in the road can severely damage the lining of a tire, which could cause a blowout. Remember, higher temperatures can cause tires to deteriorate more quickly and place you at an increased risk for an accident. With Florida’s year-round warm climate, it is especially important to check your tires for any hazards frequently.
While a well-maintained vehicle may be safer on the road, understand that this does not keep you safe from other unavoidable roadway dangers. A properly maintained set of tires cannot prevent a negligent motorist from crashing into you. If you have been involved in a car accident due to someone else’s carelessness, contact a Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton today online or call 352-726-0078.