Tire Safety Tips

Car Tire

Have you ever driven down the highway and seen bits and pieces of tires strewn across the road? If you've driven near a tractor-trailer or another vehicle when a tire blew out, you know that it can be very scary. Tire blowouts can cause serious accidents, so it's important to do everything you can to prevent them.

Preventing a Tire Blowout

  • Check the tread on your tires. Tread separation – when tread peels off and causes the tire to fall apart – is dangerous and causes accidents.
  • Tires that have less than 1/16 of an inch of tread are "bald" and should be replaced. You can tell if your tires are worn out if you see the narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, called "wear bars." You also can check your tread by putting a penny in the tire's grooves (next to the tread) with Lincoln's head touching the tire. If you can see hair, the tires are bald and should be replaced.
  • Rotate your tires every six months or 5,000 miles. (You can check your owner's manual or call the tire manufacturer for the correct rotation pattern.) Rotating your tires keeps normal wear and tear even among the four tires.
  • If you see that your tires are wearing in an uneven or irregular pattern, you could have an alignment problem. If this happens, have a qualified technician look at your vehicle.
  • All-season tires are best, because they provide a good combination of grip on dry roads, wet surfaces, and even light snow. Consider putting on winter tires for the winter season if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow.
  • Don't drive extremely fast, especially during hot weather. It causes a lot of wear and tear on your tires.
  • Don't overload your truck or vehicle.
  • Avoid road hazards if you can help it. Slow down if you have to go over a pothole or object on the road.
  • Inspect your tires regularly for cuts, slashes, or objects stuck in the tread or side of the tire.

Tips for Checking Tire Pressure

  • Check your tire pressure every month. Don't just rely on sight. Properly inflated tires help keep you safer in an accident, and they also help you get more miles to the gallon and can extend the life of your tires.
  • Use your own gauge. Gauges at gas stations get a lot of use and might not be accurate.
  • The best time to check your tires is after the vehicle has been sitting for a few hours.
  • Know the proper tire pressure for your car. Check your owner's manual if you're not sure.
  • Double-check your tire pressure with your gauge afterward to be sure the numbers are where they should be.

Tips for Buying Tires

  • Tires can crack and harden with age, so buy the newest tires you can find. Check the DOT code on any tire you're thinking about buying. You can find the 10-digit DOT code on the "black wall" side of the tire. The last four numbers show the week and year the tire was made. For example, 3609 would mean the tire was made the 36th week of 2009.
  • Check the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System. The ratings are molded into the tire sidewalls and tell you how long the tires should last.
  • A tread wear rating of 300 to 400 is considered good; 500 to 700 is very good.
  • The traction rating tells you how well the tire will stop on a wet surface. Tires can have grades of AA, A, B, and C. Buy tires with a traction rating of AA or A.
  • Temperature ratings show the tire's ability to get rid of heat. They can have grades of A, B, and C. Look for either an A or B rating.

Seriously Injured Because of Defective Tires?

Did you take care of your tires the way you were supposed to, but you still were injured in an accident that involved a tire malfunction? Don't assume it's your fault – you may have a case if the tire was defective.

Since 1982, our experienced attorneys have helped thousands of people injured in all types of car accidents – including victims of defective tires. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we've seen the devastation caused by faulty products. So much was stolen from you, which is why we're ready to help you take back your life and get you the money you deserve.

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