Monday, 20 May 2013

The Role Of Regular Tire Inspections And Vehicle Safety

The tires of everyday drivers should be inspected regularly for safety reasons.

            Drunk driving and distracted drivers are the leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States, but these accidents are predictable and caused by operator error.  A much more difficult type of accident to predict is one caused by a part failure, such as a tire blow out.  Though the timing of accidents caused by failing tires can be impossible to predict, drivers can dramatically reduce the chance of having an accident caused by a part failure if they inspect their tires regularly.  There are three areas of importance when examining a tire for safety.

Tread

            Tread is the most important thing to check for when it comes to tire safety.  A worn out tread causes a vehicle to lose its grip on the road, decreasing the driver’s ability to control the car.  On wet or icy roads the lack of tread can be fatal for the driver and anyone else on the road.  Thankfully, checking a tire’s tread is easy.  First, tire tread can be eyeballed.  When looking at the tire, does the tread look deep?  If the answer is clearly no, then the tire needs to be replaced right away.  Sometimes checking tread is not so simple, and it is not possible to determine whether or not the tire has enough tread just by looking at it.  In these cases a simple penny can serve as a measuring tool.  Insert the penny head first into the tread.  If the tread is not deep enough to touch Lincoln’s hairline, then the tire needs to be replaced immediately.  Tread that covers part of the head is safe.

Over/Under Inflation

            Drivers are often careless about tire pressure.  As long as the tire does not look noticeably flat, most drivers do not take the time to examine the tire.  Failure to check the tire pressure can lead to tires that are under inflated. When a tire is under inflated the tire puts more rubber in contact with the road than is necessary.  The wheels have to work harder to spin and the car engine uses more gasoline.  In addition to the fuel costs, an under inflated tire can cause damage to the sidewall of the tire, which will ultimately lead to a blow out at high speeds.  Tires that are too inflated are also problematic.  This problem causes the sidewalls to expand and contract, leading to bulges in the sidewall.  Both the problems of over and under inflation can be solved with a tire gauge.

Sidewall Damage

            Sidewall damage occurs when a tire expands and contracts because of improper inflation, but can also be caused by everyday driving.  Any time a driver bumps into a curb or brushes against something with the tires, the sidewall can suffer damage.  Sidewalls that have too much damage are susceptible to blow outs, and this can occur without any warning at all.  If a driver sees that their tires have sidewall damage, the tire needs to be replaced right away.  Unfortunately, there are not any other solutions available to fix sidewall damage.

            Drivers can reduce the risk of death and injury on the highway by inspecting their tires for damage.  When tires are in good condition, the risk of random accidents decreases dramatically and the roads become much safer for everyone.

My name is Brian Fringe and I wanted to write this article, because a good friend of mine got into an accident over his tires.  I constently check my tires before getting in the car and driving.  Once a month I use a company called tires Chester County PA to inspect my car and have my tires rotated. I hope you too wil do the same with a company near you. 

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