As an attorney who’s practice substantially involves motor vehicle accidents, vehicle safety is of significant importance to me. Unfortunately all too often many motor vehicle crashes which cause serious injury could have been avoided. One of the common contributing factors to motor vehicle crashes is vehicle maintenance. In every deposition I take concerning a crash I always ask questions concerning whether any malfunction or problem of the vehicle itself contributed to why there was an accident. It is not uncommon for the responsible party to place full or partial blame on problems with the car caused by lack of or improper maintenance of the vehicle.
Perhaps the most serious everyday maintenance issue effecting literally millions of drivers every day is driving on old or worn tires. The danger of driving on worn tires is very significant and in some cases can have catastrophic consequences. Your tires are literally the only thing holding your vehicle to the road that you are driving on. The tires of your car handle the power and movements of your vehicle, the stresses of the roads and all the different types of weather we encounter while driving. Unfortunately this is not something we as motorists consider or even think about when we get into our cars. Many drivers do not replace tires when needed or even realize they need to be replaced and this leads to many drivers using tires which cannot and do not perform optimally.
Some sources have indicated that 2 out of 3 drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald. The U.S. department of Transportation estimates that at least one in ten cars is driving with a bald tire, which equates to 23 million unsafe vehicles. Worn tires can lead to many unforeseen problems. It leads to heat build up which can lead to tire failure. It greatly increases the chance of tire blowout due to puncture. Worn tire tread causes hydroplaning. Worn tires need a longer stopping distance on all roads but wet roads especially. Worn tires can also lead to under inflation which adversely impacts steering and braking.
Driving on worn tires can and does lead to injuries and even fatalities. Tires that are in poor condition are a hazard to you and everyone else you encounter on the road. So remember one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and the roads safe is to check your tires and maintain them regularly. The cost of new tires or maintaining your tires is small in comparison to the heavy cost inflicted every year when worn tires are ignored.
Mike Foster is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Marlton, New Jersey office, concentrating in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Foster.