Facts about tires and car accidents
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 33,000 accidents a year are caused by tires. Specifically, tire failure causes 11,000 accidents and 200 deaths a year in the United States. SUVs have the highest rollover rate due to tire issues, at 45%, while smaller vehicles rolled over about 25% of the time due to pre-crash tire issues.
Overall, the following tire conditions make a car accident more likely:
- Tire underinflation of about 25%
- Tire tread worn too thin
- Previously damaged tires or some kind of tread separation
- Failure to use a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
- Vehicle body type (with SUVs being the most dangerous)
- Overloaded vehicles
The weather can also be a factor in your chances of an issue with your tires. Wet or icy conditions can make it harder to navigate, especially if you do not have the right kind of tires for the terrain or conditions. Poorly maintained roads can also be an issue, especially hard-to-spot potholes or rocky surfaces.
In 2021, Texas had 2,157 crashes due to defective or slick tires in rural areas alone! Urban areas experienced fewer, at 1,951, but both numbers are still alarming. This data indicates that tire maintenance and road conditions are critical to being safe on the road.
Tire Types & Maintenance
You should know what the weather patterns and terrain are like in your area before you purchase tires. The type of tires you purchase may help or hinder your overall safety on the road.
Make sure you select the appropriate tire size for your make and model. Here is a quick guide to the types of tires available:
- All-season tires are best in areas that get rain and snow. These also handle well in muddy conditions.
- Winter tires are a good option if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. All-season tires can handle snowy and icy conditions, but winter tires are specifically designed to be driven in areas with deep snow.
- Summer tires are best for areas that never get snow or ice.
- All-terrain tires are good on and off the road, and are generally used on vehicles with four-wheel drive.
Even more important than getting the right tires is keeping them maintained. You should monitor these maintenance areas on a regular basis:
- Pressure – Most modern vehicles have auto sensors to alert you if your tires are too low. You should still double check your air pressure (including your spare) before long trips or if there is a sudden change in temperature.
- Tire Tread – Ideally you should check tread when you check your tire pressure. Modern tires usually have indicators on the tread to warn you if they are too low. 2/32 of an inch is when you need to change them.
- Balance and Alignment – This is usually included in getting new tires put on. However, it should be part of the cyclical maintenance of your vehicle.
- Tire Rotation – You should rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, ideally when you do an oil change. Some car service departments will offer you a package deal to do both.
How we can help
Even when we do everything right in maintaining our vehicles, accidents still may occur. Please reach out to our office if you have been involved in an accident. We will be happy to help with your case, and assist you through the process should your case need to go to court.