Tires are the most important safety feature of your car as they are what make contact with the road surface. When you think about it, it does not matter how fancy your car is if you do not have a good and well-maintained set of tires beneath it. Your tires must grip the road well to provide safe braking and good acceleration and are also crucial in maintaining directional and steering control. Well maintained tires are an important safety feature of every vehicle on the road and are vital for preventing unnecessary accidents and the resulting injuries. Read on to see what you should be doing to monitor the health of your tires.
Every vehicle has a tire pressure recommended by the manufacturer. You can find this number in the manual or printed on the inside of the door frame. Regular checks to see if tire pressure is at the recommended level are important for many reasons. Driving on underinflated tires means that more of the tire’s surface is in contact with the road than should be. Underinflated tires are less stable, make the car harder to steer, increase the distance needed for braking, use more fuel, and wear out more quickly. When tire pressure is too low it also puts undue stress on the vehicle’s suspension and chassis as well as the brake lines, calipers, and rotors leading to the need for costly repairs that could have been avoided.
Too much pressure in your tires is also a problem. It decreases the amount of tire surface area in contact with the road and makes the tires more susceptible to damage from potholes. You will feel every bump in the road and the tires will wear down unevenly. However, the biggest risk of over inflated tires is that the stress could cause a blowout. Losing a tire while traveling at high speeds could send your car out of control and cause a rollover accident or a multi car pileup.
To determine if your tires have the right amount of air pressure, always check them with a reliable gauge when they are “cold.” If you have been driving for any amount of time, the air inside the tires warms up and the pressure reading will be inaccurate. Check the pressure before the car has been driven or after it has been sitting for at least a few hours. Vehicles that are not regularly being used should definitely have the tire pressure checked before hitting the road.
The depth of the outer layer of the tire is crucial for safety as this is what grips the road and keeps the car stable. Treads that are worn down are slippery and more easily punctured. Braking and steering control are adversely affected by worn treads. Test the depth of your tire treads by using a penny. Hold it upside down and insert it into the tread. According to Bridgestone Tires, if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head your tire tread depth is too low.
Tires that do not see a lot of use can last a long time, but even if the tread is in good shape they should be changed after ten years of service. The four-digit date code stamped on the sidewall of the tire tells you when it was made. The first two numbers indicate the week and the second two the year, so the number 2120 indicates that the tires were manufactured during the 21st week of the year 2020. Tires should be inspected for damage such as bumps, cracks, cuts, scrapes, and punctures to ensure a safe ride.
Tires need to be rotated regularly. This prolongs the life of the tire by ensuring uniform wear. A good rule of thumb is to rotate tire position every 5,000 miles of driving. Check your driver’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is important to check that the front tires are aligned for best performance as the alignment of the tires also affects their wear and tear.
The way you drive affects the wear and tear on your car and your tires. Fast starts and hard braking wear your tires down more quickly and you will need to replace them more often. The same is true for the types of roads and obstacles you encounter. Roads in poor condition with potholes and debris can jeopardize the health of your tires. It is not always possible to see or avoid objects that could puncture a tire but choose to take a route with well maintained roads if that is an option.
A number of startups are trying to change the way we monitor the safety of our tires. Current technology is only able to alert drivers to improper tire pressure situations and not every car comes equipped with a tire pressure management system. By using IoT and AI to analyze vehicle data, these companies hope to provide drivers with an accurate picture of the current state of their tires. One company from Israel uses data that vehicles already collect such as wheel speed and wheel angle, RPM, pedal position, and gear position to determine if a vehicle’s tires are developing safety issues. The technology works through a module added to the computers already in the car making it a cost-efficient way to monitor tire health. This is good news both for consumers and for companies that maintain fleets of cars as well as trucking companies.
Monitoring the health your tires can help prevent accidents. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A.. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer, call 302-656-5445 today or contact us online. From our offices in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware we represent injured accident victims in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.