Tires are critical to the handling and steering of your car. Never is this more apparent than when one of your tires blows out. Suddenly your car is on three tires and loses its stability. Any turning or braking on your part will likely cause complete loss of control. This is why an accident is the common outcome of tire blowouts. Thanks to improved materials and construction, blowouts are less frequent today. However they still occur, often as the result of poor maintenance or bad driving. To prevent a tire blowout from happening to you, follow these five tips:
Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
The most common outcome of tire pressure neglect is chronically under inflated tires. This causes the tire sidewall to over flex while riding and fatigues the rubber. The fatigued rubber develops lots of small cracks and becomes very weak. A less common problem is chronically over inflated tires which causes the rubber to get too hot. This overheating also weakens the rubber. Check your tire pressure with a pressure gauge at least once a month. Don’t wait until your warning light turns on because your tire will have been chronically under inflated prior to this.
Replace Your Tires When the Tread Depth Is 4/32 Inches
Use the penny test by bottoming out a penny in the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tire. Another indicator is when the wear bars of your tire become flush with the top of the tread. Allowing tread to wear beyond this point increases sliding and hydroplaning in water. It also means the tire is thinner where it contacts the road and that it’s more likely to blow out when running over debris or potholes.
If You Drive on a Flat, Replace the Tire
Sometimes a slow leak causes a tire to go flat while it’s parked. If you get into your car without noticing this, the ride will feel differently as you pull away. It does not matter if you only drove 20 feet, the tire is already damaged and requires replacement. The side wall will have a ring of slight discoloration.
Don’t Drive Over Road Debris, Potholes, or into the Curb
The higher your speed, the greater the potential for damage. While 2x4s can certainly damage your wheels at a high speed, smaller road debris should be avoided because it may contain nails or other objects capable of puncturing or slashing your tires.
Replace Your Tires After 6 Years
Even if your tires appear to be in mint condition, replace them if they are 6 years or older. Rubber ages and weakens over time because of oxidation with oxygen in the air.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by another driver, a Knoxville accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.