Tire Safety Helps Prevent Catastrophic Accidents - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Tire Safety Helps Prevent Catastrophic Accidents

#AskStephanieSlavens

You probably change your vehicle’s engine oil and filter on a regular basis and have the fluid levels checked, but if you are like most people, you take its tires for granted until something goes wrong. According to the Canada Safety Council, your vehicle’s tires are essential to your ability to maintain proper control over it. A high-speed blowout can be catastrophic, so it is critical to properly maintain your tires in the same way you service the other parts and systems of your car, truck or SUV.

Problems caused by poor tire maintenance

Tires represent your vehicle’s only contact with the surface of the road and only a very small portion of each tire is actually making contact. It is that contact with the road that affects how your vehicle performs, including:

  • Steering
  • Braking
  • Handling
  • Stability
  • Traction

If any of your tires lose contact with the road, as when a vehicle hydroplanes on wet pavement, steering and braking are dramatically affected. Among the benefits of tire maintenance and inspecting your tires for wear are the following:

  • Enhanced fuel efficiency
  • Increased tread life
  • Better vehicle handling
  • Improved ability to avoid collisions
  • Reduction in exhaust emissions

The importance of tire pressure

Newer vehicles have systems that automatically monitor tire pressure and alert you when they lose air. Regardless of whether your vehicle has such a system or not, you should check tire pressure using an accurate gauge at least once a month. It is particularly important to do so when air temperatures drop from warm daytime temperatures to cool or cold nights. When you head off to work or to school in the morning, you could see a significant drop in the pressure in one or more of your tires caused by the cooling of the air in the tires.

You can avoid driving on underinflated tires by checking the pressure on the first cool morning and adding air as needed. The Canada Safety Council reports that at least half of the vehicles on the road have one or more tires that are underinflated. Under inflation increases fuel consumption and dramatically diminishes the life of the tire. It also increases the chances of tire failure while driving.

Knowing how much pressure each tire on your vehicle requires is easy to find out. Most vehicles have a label affixed to the driver’s door or on the vehicle’s frame by the driver’s door. Inflation information can also be found on the sidewall of each tire. This is maximum pressure when taking a cold-air reading. The pressure your gauge shows will increase if the air inside the tires has been heated by the ambient temperatures or by driving on the tires.

Inspecting tires for wear

Tires are manufactured with a tread wear indicator, which is a rubber bar running across the tread. As the tread wears down from use, it becomes even with the tread wear indicator. Tires should be replaced before reaching that point because you could have problems with traction and braking, particularly in rain or snow.

You should also look for cuts or gashes in the tire tread or the wall of the tires. If you find any, have the tire inspected by a mechanic or a tire dealer to determine whether there is a puncture or blowout risk.

Drivers should consider purchasing winter tires specifically designed to improve driving performance in snow and wintry weather. Ontario drivers can receive a discount on their car insurance premiums by installing winter tires on their vehicles.

When tires cause accidents, a personal injury lawyer can help

If you have been injured in an accident in which a defective tire might have been at fault, contact the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. Find out what we can do to get you the compensation you need and deserve by contacting our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or by visiting our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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