Auto Accidents Caused by Tire Issues Are Considered Common
As we move further into the summer months, more and more Americans will be traveling on vacation. According to a leading news service, only 1 in 10 Americans plan on flying to their vacation destination; an overwhelming majority plan on packing the car and hitting the road.
If you are one of those planning a trip, one of the first things on your “to do” list should be preparing your vehicle for the excursion. For those living in states with mostly cold weather, such as Colorado, there are added safety concerns you need to be aware of if your trip this summer includes venturing into much hotter temperatures.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
A Climate.gov national map provides a sense of how dramatically average temperatures vary during the summer. For millions of Americans, this is the time of year to pack up the family and head out for some fun, and according to one national survey, nearly half of those traveling this summer will do so by vehicle. If you are among those about to venture out, getting your car into travel shape is critical as there are so many things that can go wrong, and some can even lead to auto accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, nearly 740 people were killed in auto accidents caused by problems with their tires. A few years ago, Popular Mechanics magazine devoted two articles to the topic of tires and what causes them to fail, especially during the summer, a time the magazine called “tire-blowout season.”
Tires are one of the most critical things on a vehicle, and maintaining them is vital. Underinflated tires, mismatched tires, or driving on tires that are old with little tread can be hazardous, especially if you are traveling along hot roads for long periods.
It’s not just making sure your tires are in good shape, it’s also making sure you have the right tires on your vehicle. For those who live in cold areas that get a lot of snow, such as Colorado, you may keep snow tires on year-round, but according to a leading tire manufacturer, if you plan on driving out of state this summer, know that winter tires are not designed for the summer heat. Not only will they wear faster, but the rubber used for winter tires does not perform the same on hot roads, and that can cause difficulty in handling the vehicle.
In addition to making sure you have the right tires, it’s also a good idea to get your vehicle fully serviced; this will allow mechanics to check things such as your battery, oil, and other vehicle fluids to ensure that your vehicle is in the best shape before you leave town. A review can also alert drivers of any outstanding recalls that have not been addressed.
Vehicle Safety Is Key to Successful Summer Road Trips
Having a safe mode of transportation is essential, but taking care of those in the vehicle is equally as important when you travel. The National Safety Council (NSC) notes that despite vehicles being safer today than ever before, an accident occurs every five seconds and 100 people are killed in crashes every day. The NSC lists three “road killers”:
- Speeding: The faster you drive, the less likely you survive a crash
- Impaired driving: Alcohol and drug-impaired drivers are responsible for 10,000 deaths each year
- Distracted driving: Using a phone while driving interferes with half of what a driver sees, even when looking out the windshield
Summer travel should be a time for family and fun, and safety should be a No, 1 priority. Before heading out on a trip, make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey; once on the road, make sure all drivers and passengers are safe as well, and that begins with making sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt every time they get in the car.