Your tires are the essential connection between your vehicle and the road. Making sure these auto components are in good working order and are safe for operation on Texas streets and highways can provide added protection against the negative effects of a serious Houston auto accident. The right tires can also prevent unexpected breakdowns that can put you and your family at greater risk on Texas streets and highways. Here are some important tips for maintaining the safety of your tires and your vehicle on the open road to help avoid the need to file a Houston auto personal injury claim.
Avoid Underinflated Tires
According to the experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, commonly referred to as the NHTSA, underinflated tires can overheat on the road. In some cases, excessive heat can lead to catastrophic failure that could cause an accident. Research included in a 2015 press release from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) indicates that almost 70 percent of all cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. have one or more underinflated tires. Vehicles manufactured in 2008 or after should be equipped with tire-pressure monitoring devices that can warn drivers of seriously underinflated tires. For newer and older vehicles alike, however, checking the pressure of your tires regularly can reduce the risk of accidents for you and your passengers.
Check Your Alignment
Misalignment of your vehicle’s wheels can create uneven wear patterns that can reduce the longevity of your tires and can pose serious risks on the road. The damage caused by misaligned tires can lead to blowouts or unexpected flats that can seriously inconvenience you and your family and may even increase the risk of an accident. By taking steps to correct the alignment of your vehicle promptly, you can extend the life of your tires and ensure greater safety behind the wheel.
Watch for Warning Signs of Tire Failure
Vibrations, unreliable steering and visible wear on your tires are among the most common early warning signs that your tires are nearing the end of their useful lives. Inspecting your tires regularly can help you identify issues with these vital components of your vehicle before they result in an unexpected flat or an accident. If your vehicle pulls to the left or right or makes unusual noises while you are driving, having your tires checked can potentially protect you and your family against
Check Tread Wear
A 2014 study conducted by the RMA found that at least 12 percent of vehicles in the U.S. have one or more bald tires that could present real risks during everyday driving. Especially during wet and icy weather, ensuring that your tires retain enough tread to maintain solid contact with the road can make a real difference in your ability to steer out of trouble and stay safe. Most automotive experts recommend replacing tires at or before they reach 4/32 of an inch of remaining tread. Tires with less than 2/32 of an inch of tread are considered unsafe and will cause your vehicle to fail inspection in the state of Texas. Worse yet, lack of tire tread can cause your vehicle to slide or experience loss of control on slick road surfaces. The RMA recommends checking the condition of your tires and your spare every month and before any extended journeys to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns along the way.
Rotate Tires Regularly
Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles can significantly reduce wear and tear and can help you extend the life of these necessary components. If you regularly go off-road or travel on uneven terrain, more frequent checks and rotations may be recommended by your auto care professional. By investing in this low-cost service, you can avoid the expense and inconvenience of auto accident claims in Houston related to premature tire failure.
Taking steps to maintain your vehicle in peak driving condition can reduce the risk of accidents and can keep you safer on the road. If a serious accident does occur, however, consulting with a Houston auto personal injury attorney can ensure the best outcome for your case and can help you obtain the compensation needed to manage medical bills and to restore your car, truck or SUV to good working order. By working with these dedicated professionals, you can protect your legal rights both in and out of court.