The bad weather has shown its face early this year, and just in time for holiday travel. Before heading to your Thanksgiving destination your checklist might include packing your bags, shopping for road snacks, and bringing enough activities to keep everyone busy on the ride. You’ll probably grab a coffee and gas up before you go too. Yet, one important step that people neglect is checking their tire pressure.
Low tire pressure can increase a driver’s risk for accidents on the road. With the drastic weather conditions to come, Marylanders may already notice an impact on their tires. Tires usually drop between 1-2 pounds of pressure for every 10 degrees of drop in temperature. The lower the temperature, the higher the risk that a tire could fail on the road.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.), 738 motor vehicle fatalities were caused by tire-related crashes in 2017, and nearly 11,000 others are injured by these accidents every year. Tires are essential to keeping our cars moving safely on the road. When a tire fails or blows out, our vehicles can become uncontrollable, triggering dangerous and deadly accidents to occur.
Low tire pressure is the number one cause of tire failure on the road. Unfortunately, most people don’t even think to check their tire pressure, especially on regular trips to the store or to work. Though the number of tire-related crashes has been reduced over the years since the invention of the automatic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), these devices are not always accurate and can give drivers a false impression of how safe their tires really are.
Before the invention of TPMS, drivers had to rely on checking their tire pressure frequently or listening/feeling for signs of low tire pressure, all which were pretty ineffective in reducing the probability of an accident. There are two types of TPMS in most vehicles:
Both these systems have helped reduce the number of tire-related vehicles accidents but they are not perfect. TPSM’s have a number of flaws that can give drivers a false impression of their tire conditions including:
The most common reason for TPSM failures is that sensors are just too old or worn out to work properly. These seniors have a lifespan of about 5 to 7 years but may work for even less time if you put a lot of miles on your car.
Driving on congested or busy roads can cause tire-related accidents to become even more severe. According to AAA, over 54 million people traveled by road during the holidays last year, nearly 5 percent more than in 2017. If the 2019 travel predictions hold true to years prior, checking your tires will be a critical step to keeping your family safe.
Experiencing tire failure on busy holiday roads can put drivers and passengers at serious risk in two ways:
In addition, holiday traffic and an increase in accidents can cause a lag in when first responders and emergency services arrive. Not to mention, winter brings some pretty nasty weather conditions that only increases the wait and the possibility and severity of a tire-related accident.
Most tire-related accidents are completely preventable with a little maintenance before your trip begins. Drivers can help prevent accidents caused by low tire pressure by using these safety tips before driving:
Sometimes, no matter how much we prepare, tires do not cooperate with our trip. If you do experience a tire blowout while on the road, use these safety tips by Travelers to handle the situation as safely as possible:
All Maryland drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles with care to reduce harm to others on the road. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver, our team of winning car accident attorneys is here for support.
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