The U. . Department of Transportation has issued a summer travel advisory to motorists in Maine and throughout the country to check your tires before heading out on long trips.
Maine car accident lawyers know that low tire pressure or worn tires in extremely hot temperatures are a bad combination and can increase the chances of a serious car accident in Bangor or Portland quite substantially.
Inspecting your tires for proper inflation and tread wear is key in reducing the chances of a tire-blow out or worse, loss of vehicle control that could lead to serious injuries in a vehicle crash. From 2005-2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported almost 3,400 deaths in tire-related crashes.There were another estimated 116,000 people injured in these types of accidents.
“While it’s true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. “Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster.”
The hot weather can have an adverse effect on aging and worn tires, especially in extreme temperatures. Not only should you check your tires for proper inflation periodically, but if the treads are worn down you should consider replacing them. Older tires have a higher vulnerability to heat stress which can cause them to explode, especially on long trips. Motorists are encouraged to check their owner’s manual or with a tire manufacturer for suggestions on how often or at what point tires need changed.
The good news is proper tire inflation can save you pennies at the pump. According to U. . Department of Energy, tires that aren’t properly inflated can lower gas mileage by .3 percent for every one pound per square inch drop in pressure for all four tires. Gas mileage per gallon can add up on long trips for fuel efficient cars if tire pressure is maintained at an optimal level.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association offers the following summer driving tips:
- Take 5 minutes every month and before long trips to check your tires, even the spare tire located in the trunk.
- Pressure builds up as tires become warm. Never reduce air pressure while tires are hot.
- Follow tire tread and air pressure requirements specified in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Over-inflation of tires causes problems with braking and vehicle control as well as uneven wear on your tires.
- Follow the suggestions in the owner’s manual for loading your vehicle. Every vehicle has a weight limit so make sure you know what that is before you start loading.
- Overloading a vehicle’s weight capacity can cause stress and excessive heat inside your tires which can lead to severe injury or vehicle damage in an accident.
- Always have your tires rotated and aligned before long trips.
- Remove any debris or objects stuck in tire treads so that the tires can grip the road appropriately.
- Tires come equipped with a “wear bar” which tells when a tire is worn out. This bar typically shows when a tire is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch and ready for replacement.
The personal injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates are dedicated to fighting for victims and their families in Bangor or Portland. If you have been injured in a car accident, call for a no obligation appointment to discuss your claim at 1-800-804-2004.
More Blog Entries:
Proposed Bill Could Lead to an Increase in Speed-related Car Accidents in Northern Maine, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, May 25, 2011