If you think about it, your entire car is resting on the air that is in your tires. Therefore, making sure that your tires have the perfect amount of air could make or break your trip to the grocery store. A study conducted by the National Highway Safety Transportation Agency (NHSTA) examined the effect of under-inflated tires in car accidents. They concluded that a car with tires at least 25% below the recommended amount, is 3.9 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
As mentioned, the weight of your car is carried by the amount of air in the tires. When air is no longer holding up your car, it has to rest upon the tire itself. This compromises the foundation of the tire. So next time you see your tire droop, it’s because your tire is being ruined from the weight of your car. Even after you fill up your tire, the structural damage could still cause safety problems. Furthermore, when your tires are properly filled, it is better for your gas mileage; your car doesn’t use as much energy to maintain a certain speed.
Over-inflating your tire can also be a problem. In the same NHSTA study, over-inflating your tires increases your likelihood of being in an accident by 2 percent. When your tire pressure is too high, your tire has less surface area on the road. Over-inflated tire pressure could easily cause you to slip out of control under certain road conditions. In addition, if you are carrying a heavy load, or it is a hot day, an over-inflated tire could pop, resulting in you changing a tire on the side of a busy freeway, or a riding in an ambulance.
How to Check Your Tire Pressure
If you drive a car newer than 2008, making sure your tire pressure is made easy. Required by federal law, all cars newer than 2008 must be equipped with automatic tire pressure gauges. The car will inform you if your pressure is too low. If you have an older car, don’t sweat. You just have to make sure your tires are filled enough. Here are some tips on giving your tires the proper pressure:
- The ideal amount of air should be printed on the tire. Look carefully, and clean them off if you need to.
- Check your tires before going on a road trip.
- Purchase an inexpensive tire pressure gauge. This will help you determine how much air needs to go in your tires.
- Tire pressure usually changes when the weather is warm.
The attorneys at Christensen and Hymas want you to be safe on the Utah roads this summer. Before your road-trip, make sure that your tires have the right amount of pressure. This little task could prevent your trip from turning into a catastrophe.