The spare tire in your trunk can be a real life saver. Without a spare, you would have to get your car towed to a repair facility. That being said, improper care and use of a spare tire may also cause a serious car accident. Here are three ways this comes about:

Driving on an under-Inflated Spare Tire

Tires leak air over time, even when they aren’t used. People who diligently keep their tires inflated to the proper pressure (and those who don’t), often forget they even have a spare tire. Unless you carry an air pump with you, your under-inflated spare tire will be of little use the next time you need it. Driving on a seriously under-inflated spare is inviting a blowout.

Driving on an Old Spare Tire

All tires, regardless of their appearance and tread depth, require replacement after six years. The rubber in a tire ages like an old rubber band. It loses its elasticity and becomes stiff and weak. This comes about from oxidation in which oxygen reacts with the rubber and changes its properties. Warm temperatures accelerate this process. Most spare tires are kept in the trunk of a car, which gets very hot in the summer. If you have an old or used car with the original spare, get it replaced if it’s older than six years. Old tires will fall apart under normal use, causing a blowout.

Extended Driving on a Donut Spare Tire

There are two types of spare tires: full-sized tires and smaller donut tires. Full-sized spares are no different from the tires used on your car. They have the same life span and can be used indefinitely until the tread wears down or the rubber gets too old. However, make sure that any new tires you purchase are the same type as the spare (or vice versa).

Donut tires are meant to get you to a repair facility. They are only good for about seventy miles. They have little tread and are easily damaged. Their small size makes your car less stable in adverse weather and while making emergency maneuvers. Driving on a donut tire for an extended time will cause a blowout.

Proper care and use of your spare tire will ensure that it gets your car safely to a repair facility instead of getting you into an accident. Were you injured in an accident with a negligent motorist? Contact us for legal advice.

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