One of the most important functions of tires is providing traction with the road. Without traction, braking, steering, and acceleration aren’t possible. Tires also support the car’s weight. When a blowout upsets the weight distribution among a car’s four wheels, the car can lose control and crash.
This makes proper tire usage and maintenance an important safety issue. Unfortunately, commonly held tire safety myths prevent car owners from taking proper care of their tires. Here are four common myths:
Rapid Air Loss and Blowouts Are Caused by Tire Defects
Tire defects aren’t responsible for the majority of tire flats and blowouts. Rapid air loss and flat tires are often caused by a nail or other road debris that punctures, cuts, or otherwise penetrates the tire and causes air leakage. Blowouts are typically caused by chronic under inflation. The flexing sidewalls of under-inflated tires generate heat and weaken the rubber and belting.
A Tire That Loses Significant Pressure Requires Re-inflation
Merely re-inflating the tire fails to address the underlying cause of the problem. Continual re-inflation risks prolonged driving on an under-inflated tire, which causes irreparable damage and risks a blowout.
Tires with Good Tread Don’t Require Replacement
This is not the case when your tires are older than six years. Tire rubber slowly degrades over time through oxidation. Oxygen produces rust when it oxidizes iron. When it oxidizes tire rubber, it produces a tire that lacks elasticity much like an old rubber band. This is a problem for car owners who rarely use their cars and therefore never wear down the tread on the tires. In addition, the original spare tire of an old car is unsafe when it’s older than six years.
The Air Pressure Is Good When the Tire Wall Doesn’t Bulge Too Much
A tire with no bulge at all is over-inflated. This affects the car’s handling and therefore your safety. It also wears the center of the tire’s tread, which also affects your safety. A tire that appears to bulge too much may be grossly under-inflated. Driving on an under-inflated tire causes damage. Visual inspection is unreliable. Use a pressure gauge.
If another driver’s negligence injured you in an accident, seek the legal advice of an experienced lawyer. Contact us for a free consultation.