Proper Tire Maintenance Reduces Winter Car Accidents in Maryland

proper tire maintenance

The long-range forecast in Maryland reveals below average temperatures and higher precipitation levels for much of winter 2021, so many Baltimore motorists are getting their vehicles ready for the rough weather to come. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that some are not focusing proper attention on their vehicle’s tires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 33,000 car accidents occur every year because of tire blowouts and related tire failures. More than 600 fatalities are linked to tire-related auto crashes every year, a figure that represents a downward trend after the 738 deaths resulting from tire failures in 2017.

Though you may not be able to completely prevent tire blowouts, staying current with maintenance is critical. In general, failures are linked to the condition of the tire, road conditions, and the type of vehicle. Some specific tips about proper tire maintenance are also useful in reducing the potential for Baltimore County auto accidents in winter.

Shop Wisely

The rule of thumb is to purchase the best tires you can afford to handle the conditions you drive in most often. All-season tires are suitable for much of the year, since they have snow and precipitation capabilities. Some drivers might opt to switch to winter tires during the colder months, and these are particularly useful in heavy snow. In addition, you may need to review special features for four-wheel-drive vehicles and SUVs.

Inspect Regularly

After finding the right fit for your vehicle, it is still important to conduct periodic inspections on the tires. Look for signs of wear and tear, and make sure to rotate on a regular basis for more even stress on each tire. Pay special attention to the tire treads, which are crucial for keeping a grip on the road surface and whisking away precipitation. Tread inspection is easy with a penny: Fit the coin in the groove across the tire with Lincoln’s head facing down. If part of the head is always covered by the tread, you are at the recommended level of 2/32 inch.

Watch Tire Pressure

Regular inspections of the tires are important, but you should check tire pressure even more often. Tire gauges are inexpensive and easy to stow in the glove box, so pull one out every time you gas up. A top cause for tire failure is improper inflation, leading to either too much or too little pressure. Note that pressure can also fluctuate with temperature changes, so the inspection you conducted today could be different tomorrow.

Check Your Steering Alignment: 

You can feel when your vehicle pulls to one side, indicating that alignment is off. Unbalanced steering results in uneven wear, increasing the potential for a blowout.

Discuss Legal Options with Our Maryland Car Accident Lawyers

These tips on proper tire maintenance will protect your safety, but it is essential to retain skilled legal representation to protect your rights. To learn more about your legal remedies and recovering compensation after an auto crash, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. You can schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by calling 410.363.6848 or visiting us online.

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