Consider this: Four circular pieces of rubber that span your car are all that divides you from the interstate at speeds that can alter you and your passengers life in the course of just a second.
Tires that are over or under inflated, severely worn or are beyond their lifespan can not only decrease braking capacity and fuel consumption but can also make taking even a simple turn the result of an accident. Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. Even when equipped with a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) a tire can be as much as 50% under inflated before it is visibly noticeable. Not only are under inflated tires more prone to damage and failure, but they can lead to higher fuel costs by as much as 3 to 5¢ per gallon.
Therefore, every year tires are a significant reason for vehicle mishaps. According the NHTSA they estimated that in 2003 there were 414 Fatalities, 10,275 Non-fatal and 78,392 crashes that were due in part or caused by flat tires or blowouts. Tire related crashes make up over 31% of all contributing factors in vehicle accidents.
Unfortunately often disregarded, tires get loads of misuse and little consideration, yet a little consideration is all they normally require. Proper tire maintenance is an important safety function often neglected. The importance of properly maintaining your tires cannot be overemphasized. Remember, tires are the only contact between your vehicle and the road you and your family are driving on.
At any rate once a month, examine them over for visual imperfections such as, cracks, thread showing, uneven tread wear as well as check the pressure and be sure that it is properly inflated per the specs of the tire manufacture. In addition be sure to get your tires rotated per your vehicle owner’s manual. Rotating your tires can prevent uneven wear, give you insight to issues pertaining to your vehicles alignment as well as save you money in the long run by getting the most out of your tires and not needing to replace them as often.
Visiting a local tire dealer or mechanic can decrease your out of pocket expenses, plus having an expert take a look and give you the green light as to whether you have more life left in your tread or if it is time to move in the direction of new tires is not only helpful but can help you avoid being part of that 31%.