As a Florida driver, you may take all of the necessary safety precautions when driving your automobile. You pay attention to the road, use your safety belt and properly navigate your vehicle down the highways. There is a danger that you may not have even considered and it can cause serious car crashes. Tire failure has been known to cause major auto collisions resulting in catastrophic injuries to the driver and passengers. Tires withstand extreme pressure and heat. If tires are not properly maintained or if the tires contain some type of defect, they pose a significant safety hazard.
During the manufacturing process of tires, manufacturers are required to perform extensive testing to ensure the product’s safety. However, even after rigorous tests, tires are sometimes later found to have flaws. As a result, defective tires are frequently recalled by manufacturers.
Years ago, Bridgestone/Firestone announced a tire recall involving millions of tires. The recall occurred after the manufacturer received numerous reports of tire failure. What was interesting is that the majority of reports came from the southern-most states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, which showed that there may be a direct connection between heat and tire performance. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration monitors safety recalls involving defective tires and other auto related products and provides the information on a website devoted to recall information. Consumers can sign up to receive updates via email or search the recall database.
It is important to stay up to date on recalls involving defective tires, but there are other actions you can take to reduce tire failure. Studies have found that maintaining proper tire pressure, regularly inspecting tires, avoiding road hazards and following load limit guidelines can decrease the risk of blowout, tread separation and flat tires.
Keeping tires at the recommended inflation can help prevent accidents. Tires that are at the right pressure improve steering, stopping, traction and load-carrying capability of the automobile. Under-inflated tires are a significant factor in tire failure. You can find the recommended tire pressure and vehicle load limit on placards and vehicle certification labels, which are usually attached to the vehicle’s door edge, door post, glove box door or inside of the trunk lid.
Tires should be routinely rotated based on the frequency outlined in the vehicle owner’s manual. Tire rotation reduces irregular wear. In addition to rotation, tires should be balanced to avoid vibration or shaking of the vehicle when a tire rotates. The tread should also be examined often to make sure it is not too worn down. Tires generally have built-in tread wear indicators to let you know when it is time to replace the tires.
For more information regarding tire safety, consult the Tire Safety brochure provided by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to an accident involving bad tires, contact the offices of David Benenfeld for a free initial consultation.