Hot Temperatures, Deflated Tires Increase the Risk of Car Accidents in Hickory, Charlotte

The U.S. Department of Transportation is advising summer travelers to check their tires before heading out for long trips in warm temperatures to avoid a car accident in Hickory, Statesville and throughout North Carolina.

Charlotte car accident attorneys know that hot temperatures can cause all sorts of dangers, so using a little extra caution this summer is a good idea when temperatures reach upward of 90.
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Summer travel season has officially kicked off with the passing of Memorial Day. The advisory from the Department of Transportation overlaps with National Tire Safety Week, June 5-11.

“As the weather warms up, it’s especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation.”

Tire-related crashes are more prominent than you might think. From 2005 to 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 116,000 injured motorists and almost 3,400 deaths in car accidents involving a problem with the tires.

Older tires are more susceptible to heat stress and can cause a severe accident if blown while driving on major highways. Keep the tires regulated with proper inflation and check the treads to see how worn your tires are. About 600 deaths and 33,000 injuries occur each year in the U.S. due to improper inflation of tires.

Not only is checking tire pressure important for highway safety, but it also can save money in your wallet. Tires that are properly inflated can get better gas mileage. Tires that are under-inflated can decrease gas mileage by .3 percent for every one pound per square inch (PSI) drop in pressure for all four tires, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s fueleconomy.gov . It is estimated that motorists in the U.S. waste 1.2 billion gallons of fuel each year due to improper inflation of tires.

A recent 2011 Tire Care Awareness Survey performed by Rubber Manufacturers Association and released by betiresmart.org indicated the following public responses about tire care:

-15 percent of motorists know how to properly check tire pressure.

-One in seven motorists check tire pressure monthly, compared to six out of 10 who wash their cars monthly.

-More than half of drivers don’t know how to tell if their tires are bald.

-62 percent of motorists don’t know where to find the correct inflation pressure on their vehicle.

-Only 9 percent of females and 20 percent of males check their tire pressure properly.

The four key elements of tire care are pressure, alignment, rotation and tread. Checking the pressure is important because under-inflation is the biggest reason for wear and tear on tires. A vehicle that is not aligned properly in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid wear on treads. Rotating tires on your vehicle routinely can help more evenly spread wear on your tires. Treads help tires grip the road to reduce the risk of an accident,

“While it’s true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. “Under-inflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster.”

For more information about tire safety, visit safercar.gov.

If you have been injured in a car accident in North or South Carolina, contact the car accident lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.

More Blog Entries:

South Carolina Deputies Injured While Helping Stalled Driver, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, May 14, 2010

Defective Vehicles Increase Risk of North Carolina Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 15, 2011

Water Dangers Prove Fatal in Carolina Car Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, May 23, 2011

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