Checking your tire pressure is one of the most vital maintenance steps when it comes to keeping your vehicle safe, but most drivers forget to stay on top of it! With rain and snowy weather still on the radar for Wisconsin this season, it is more important than ever to avoid driving with low tire pressure to avoid unnecessary vehicle accidents that could cause devastating injuries.
Low tire pressure is one of the leading causes of tire failure in the country and results in thousands of injuries every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported nearly 11,000 injuries and 738 fatalities were caused by tire-related accidents every year.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), about a third of cars and small trucks on the road are driving with under-inflated tires or with pressure levels below the manufacturer’s safety recommendations. Under-inflated tires severely impact a driver’s ability to control their vehicle, leading to tire failures such as skidding, uneven wear, and blowouts.
Why Your Tires Might Be Low
When the weather becomes cold, your tires can lose air and cause the low tire pressure indicator in your car to turn on. Some drivers ignore the warning, expecting the problem to resolve when the car warms up. But cold weather is not the only reason why your tires pressure could be low.
- Tires can decrease in pressure for several different reasons, including:
- Poor tire maintenance
- Bad driving habits (harsh stops, quick accelerations)
- Poor road conditions
- Poor quality materials used to make tires
The invention of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) has dramatically reduced the number of traffic fatalities and injuries over the past two decades, but you can’t rely on these systems as a substitute for manually checking your tire pressure. Sensors used in TPMS systems can stop working correctly from running out of batteries, wiring issues, voltage or electronic failures, corrosion, or recognition errors after a tire rotation. Drivers who wait for the indicator to go on may be driving on severely low tire pressure and putting themselves at risk for a vehicle accident without even realizing.
How To Prevent Low Tire Pressure Accidents
Luckily, most tire-related accidents are entirely preventable when taking the proper maintenance steps before you hit the road. Here are some tips for how drivers can help prevent accidents caused by low tire pressure:
- Check your tire pressure monthly, before a long trip, or when inclement weather is coming.
- Don’t ignore the tire pressure light, even if you just checked the pressure.
- Know what your low tire pressure light looks like.
- Use air pumps that read the pressure as it fills and stops automatically.
- Make sure TPMS sensors are replaced every 5 to 7 years or 60,000 to 80,000 miles.
- Don’t assume cold temperatures are to blame for low tire pressure. Your tires might have already been low before the cold weather hit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee TODAY at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you and get car accident help TODAY and money for your injuries. There is no fee until we win.
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