Your tires are your car’s connection to the road. Although this seems like an overly simplistic explanation, the fact is that your car’s tires can have a tremendous impact on how efficiently your car runs and how safe you are while driving it. Neglecting your car’s tires can increase your risk of being injured in a car accident.
If you are involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to seek monetary compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim. This compensation can be used to cover all of your expenses related to the injury, such as your medical bills, your lost wages due to time out of work, your temporary or permanent need for mobility aids following the accident, and treatment for any emotional trauma you experienced as a result of the accident. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about filing this type of claim after you have received medical attention for your injury.
By being proactive with tire maintenance, you can minimize your chance of being involved in a car accident. Although you cannot completely eliminate this risk, you can greatly reduce your potential injuries in the event you are involved in a collision. Put your health and safety first by making regular tire maintenance, such as tire rotations and replacements, part of your car care routine.
How Often Should I Change my Tires? How Long Are Tires Good For?
Tires should be replaced every 25,000 to 50,000 miles in general. The reason why this window is so wide is that every vehicle and driver is unique. Certain types of vehicles are harder on their tires, wearing down the tread more quickly than other vehicles. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s’ manual to find out the right time to change your tires.
How an individual drives his or her car can affect tire life as well. Those who are heavier on the brakes or drive in wet weather more frequently will need to replace their tires sooner than those who do not demand as much of their brakes and live in drier climates.
You can tell when your tires need to be changed by looking at their tread. A tire’s tread is the pattern of grooves that it has along its outer surface. A new tire has tall, thick grooves. Over time, the tread wears down, giving tires a much smoother look. This process is a lot like what happens to a basketball over the course of its life: when it is new, a basketball is covered in thousands of raised rubber bumps. A well-worn basketball is as smooth as a cue ball.
Even if a tire still has lots of tread, it may be unsafe due to its age. As tires get older, they become more prone to tread separation and blowouts. It’s important to check the age of your tires and replace them if they are too old. A trusted auto repair shop can help you determine the age of your vehicle’s tires based on a date code imprinted on the sidewall.
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How Can a Worn Tire Put Me at Risk?
Tires whose tread is worn down do not grip the road as easily as those with full tread. This means that drivers have to brake sooner and harder to bring their vehicles to a complete stop. Worn tires can also cause a vehicle to lose traction and skid or spin out. Tires with thin treads also make a vehicle more likely to hydroplane on wet roads or slide on icy or snowy roads.
Tire Safety and Tire Maintenance Tips
Always keep your tires properly inflated. The correct pound-force per square inch (PSI) for your tires can be found in your owner’s manual, on your tires, or on a sticker inside your driver’s side door. Check your tire pressure regularly with a handheld pressure gauge. If your tire pressure light appears on your dashboard, get to a gas station in a timely manner to inflate your tires.
- Over-inflated tires create excessive wear on the middle of the tire’s tread while the outer portions of the tread do not touch the road. This leads to uneven wear of your tires which, in addition to wearing them out faster, create a safety hazard.
- Under-inflated tires also wear out more quickly than correctly filled tires. They also have less rolling resistance than properly-filled tires, requiring more gas from your engine to move forward.
Know how old your tires are by referring to the DOT numbers printed on them. These numbers indicate when the tires were made. This number can help you determine when to replace your tires. Never purchase used tires – you have no way of knowing how they were maintained by their previous owners. With tires, it is in your best interest to spend the money to purchase them new, rather than attempting to save a little bit by buying used. When you buy new tires, you know that you are buying an unused product. Most new tires come with a five-year warranty.
When Do Tires Need to Be Rotated?
Tires that are unevenly worn can also indicate a problem such as a bad alignment. An improperly aligned car is not only inefficient, it is also difficult to handle. Every time you replace or rotate your tires, have an alignment done. An alignment simply means adjusting the wheels to the manufacturer’s specified positions. Over time, normal driving can gradually move wheels out of alignment. Hitting a curb or driving through a deep pothole can also throw a car’s wheels out of alignment.
Have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles to ensure that they wear evenly. For a quick way to gauge your tires’ wear between rotations, use the penny test. Take a penny and stick it upside down between your tires’ grooves. If you can’t fully see Abraham Lincoln’s head, you need to replace that tire. Do the penny test in the middle and at the edges of your tires’ treads. If one or two tires’ treads are significantly more worn down than the others, you probably need an alignment.
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Long Island Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our team of experienced car accident lawyers on Long Island at Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. We are an experienced Long Island personal injury firm that can help you seek the monetary compensation you deserve for your expenses following a car accident. Do not wait to contact our firm. Give us a call today at 866-882-0516 or visit us on the web to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our firm.