Your safety while driving relies on having tires with good tread and plenty of air. While having tires that are slightly under-inflated for a little while won’t cause too much damage, when they’re severely under-inflated, a lot can go wrong with your car.
Thankfully, a lot of newer cars have Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that alert you with a dash light when your tires need air. But if you have an older car, you might not know that your tires are too low until it’s too late. Keep reading to find out what can happen if you leave your tires under-inflated for too long, and how to tell when you need to put air in your tires.
Why You Should Avoid Under-Inflation
When your tires are under-inflated, they can’t perform well on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that tires under-inflated by 25% cause three times as many car accidents as correctly inflated tires.
While low tires probably won’t cause any serious problems for you while driving short distances, they can if you leave them that way for too long. AAA reports that low tire pressure has many negative effects on your car. Here are some dangers of using tires that are under-inflated:
- Increased wear and tear on the sides of your tires
- Less responsive to steering
- Less efficient braking
- Tread breakdown
- Tire separation from rim
- Damaged rim or axle
While it’s not dangerous like the other consequences listed above, low tire pressure also decreases your fuel efficiency while driving. To get the most out of your gas and money, and to avoid car accidents, it’s best to keep your tires properly inflated.
How to Tell If Your Tires Are Too Low
You might have heard that you can tell how low your tire pressure is just by looking at your tire, but that’s not true. It’s nearly impossible to tell if your tires need air just by sight. Sure, you can tell if your tire is flat because it completely sinks to the ground, but you probably won’t be able to tell if your tires are low.
If your car seems to be running smoothly, you can get by with checking your tire pressure monthly. AAA recommends to check weekly, though, as well as before any long road trip to ensure that your tires are properly filled. To know how many pounds per square inch (psi) of air your tires should be, you can look in two places: in your driver’s manual, or the chart inside you driver’s side door. A numerical value will be listed, and you can adjust most digital air pressurizers to that number.
When you check your tire pressure, you want to do it in the morning before you drive because any heat can change the reading. When your tires are cold or have been at rest, you can get an accurate reading and know if your tires are too low or too full. Use an accurate pressure gauge, then pump pressurized air into your tires until they reach the suggested psi. Though the task sounds trivial, it can keep your tires from failing and causing an unexpected collision.
Reach Out to the Law Office of Todd W. Burris
After a wreck, you’ll want an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you so that your case goes smoothly and correctly. The Law Office of Todd W. Burris in Lexington can provide the support you need and will fight to get you justice. You should only have to focus on your physical and emotional recovery, not the legal side of things, and that’s exactly what our team will ensure. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can get your claim started.