Safety Agency Urges Motorists to Check Tires in Summer


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding motorists of the importance of checking tires during hot weather. Failing to keep an eye on tire pressure during the summer months can lead to tire failure. That, in turn, can lead to a deadly collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a federal agency dedicated to reducing the number of injuries and deaths on the nation’s roadways. The agency often releases warnings to motorists about known safety issues. Tire breakdown during the summer months is one of those safety concerns.

Tire failure causes approximately 11,000 vehicle crashes each year in the United States. In the State of Washington alone, defective equipment, including faulty tires, accounted for 2,750 collisions in 2010, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Of those collisions, 16 resulted in fatal injuries and 64 in serious injuries.

The most common causes of tire failure include tread separations, blowouts, bald tires and under-inflated tires. Under-inflated tires, in particular, can cause a host of issues, such as sluggish handling, poor fuel economy, increased stress on tire components and longer stopping distance.

Tire pressure can change dramatically from winter to summer as the air temperature causes the pressure inside your tires to expand and contract. By ensuring that you have the correct pressure in your vehicle’s tires you can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent as well as improve steering, traction, stopping and load-carrying abilities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the following:

  1. Inflate tires to the proper PSI. Do not use the number found on the tire itself. Instead look for the proper PSI on a sticker on the car door or check your owner’s manual.
  2. Check your pressure at least once a month.
  3. Heed the tire pressure monitoring system if your vehicle has one. A warning light on your dashboard will indicate that your tire pressure is low.
  4. Monitor tire tread and check manufacturer recommendation for tire replacement.
  5. Try the penny test. Place a penny in the tread of your tires with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tire has less than 2/32 inch of tread and you are ready for new tires.

If you have been injured in a Yakima Valley area car accident or have lost a loved one as a result of one, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or your loss. The Yakima Valley car accident attorneys at Mariano Morales Law can help you get through the legal process and make sure that the party responsible for your injuries or loss is held accountable. Contact the team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or by using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.