Do you know the tread depth of the tires on your car? Unfortunately, not many drivers pay attention to this vital piece of information when maintaining their vehicles. Tire safety experts focus on tread depth as an important indicator when assessing tire safety. Worn down tires lacking proper tread depth are a significant but often overlooked safety hazard, especially when driving on wet or snow-covered roads.
With over 11,000 tire-related crashes taking place each year in the United States, auto safety experts continue to caution drivers to properly inspect and maintain their tires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire malfunction was a contributing factor in over 700 motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2017. The following are tips for tire safety that can help lower the chances of being involved in a tire-related accident:
Driving your car or truck on bald tires prevents the tire from functioning properly, thus posing a significant safety risk. How low can tire tread get before it becomes unsafe? According to New Jersey law, legal tire tread depth is no less than 2/32 of an inch. While most states have adopted a similar standard, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Automobile Association recommends all tire tread depths measure at least 4/32 of an inch.
Tire maintenance is a crucial preventative step for safe drivers, yet only 19 percent of drivers properly inflate their tires. Always make sure there is a proper amount of air in your tires. Maintaining proper tire pressure includes paying attention to your vehicle’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System to ensure your tires are not overinflated or underinflated. Many service stations provide air filling stations for driver convenience. Proper tire pressure also helps with a vehicle’s fuel efficiency with research showing properly inflated tires save drivers as much as 11 cents per gallon at the gas pump.
Tires should be periodically rotated, balanced, and aligned as part of a driver’s tire maintenance routine. For most vehicles, drivers should get the tires rotated after every 5,000 to 8,000 miles of driving. Check tires annually for proper balance and alignment, which can also affect how well a tire performs. Vehicles that shake or vibrate may have improperly balanced tires that impede proper tire rotation. Tires that are improperly balanced or aligned may also show increased rubber breakdown.
When replacing tires, be sure to use the correct tire size that matches the vehicle’s original tires. Car and truck manufacturers list recommended tire sizes in the vehicle’s owner manual or list the correct size on the Tire and Loading Information Label, usually found on the driver’s side door edge or post.
Manufacturers recall tires from the marketplace for a variety of reasons. Using a recalled tire on your vehicle can pose a significant safety risk. Periodically check online recall databases, such as the one maintained by the NHTSA, to remain informed of potential safety issues with your tires.
If you have been injured in a car accident, the experienced Philadelphia and South Jersey car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to assist injured individuals and their families throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. To schedule a free and confidential consultation today, call us at 856-470-9777 or 215-557-0099 or submit an online inquiry.