Properly Inflate Your Tires to Prevent a Car Accident in Chicago

Drivers are urged to check their tires early and often this summer, according to a recently released consumer advisory from the U.S. Department of Transportation. All motorists are asked to inspect their tires to make sure that they’re properly inflated and to check for signs of tread wear and damage. It is important for drivers to do so during this time of year, as the weather has warmed up and motorists now face an increased risk of a tire-related car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere throughout the state.This consumer advisory was released just in time to coincide with National Tire Safety Week. It is during the next few summer months that motorists are at highest risk.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys ask that all residents take a look at this consumer advisory and carefully follow the recommendations as these safety precautions can help to keep you safe on our roadways. Old, under-inflated tires and the heat of the summer can have deadly consequences.

“As the weather warms up, it’s especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated,” Secretary Ray LaHood said. “For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation.”

According to the Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most recent data reports that roughly 3,400 people died from 2005 to 2009 because of tire-related accidents. Another 116,000 were injured in these preventable incidents.

“While it’s true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. “Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster.”

Motorist are urged by the DOT to check the tire pressure in all four tires regularly, but especially before venturing out on long car trips. They are also urged to keep an eye on the wear and tear of their tires. Old, aging tires are more susceptible to heat stress and can cause a deadly accident. This risk only increases if your old tires are not properly inflated.

Motorists can take a peek at their tire sidewall to judge the age of their tires. You can also check with the vehicle’s owner’s manual or with the tire manufacturer to see how often you should be changing your tires.

Keeping your tires up to par will not only help to keep you safe on our roadways, but it can help to keep you from wasting your money at the pump. According to the Department of Energy, tires that are not properly inflated can lower your vehicle’s gas mileage by nearly 0.5 percent for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in pressure. This means that if your vehicle gets an average of 30 miles per gallon and you vehicle’s tires require 35 PSI then a drop in just a quarter of tire pressure would mean you’re losing almost 9 percent in fuel economy. This equals about 3 miles per gallon!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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