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Tire Safety Checklist

Each year, about 23,000 crashes are caused by tire blowouts.

Since 1973, the attorneys of Sanders & Parks in Phoenix, Arizona have represented people locally and nationwide in cases involving injuries caused by automobile defects. Many of these cases involve defective tires. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident caused by tread separation or any other form of tire defect, our lawyers can help you.

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Tire Safety Checklist

Proper maintenance helps prevent tire failures. In some cases, however, tire failures are hard to detect because of a manufacturing or design flaw. By knowing what to look for you may be able to prevent unnecessary injuries. The following tips may help you avoid being involved in a vehicle accident caused by a defective tire.

  • Check the tread on your tires. Tires that have less than 1/16 of an inch of tread depth are considered bald and should be replaced. You can also tell if your tire is worn out when you see that the wear bars (narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread) are beginning to show.

  • Check your tire pressure monthly and make certain that your tires are properly inflated. Properly inflated tires not only offer the greatest safety, but also can improve on fuel economy and extend tread wear. When you check your pressure, use your own gauge and check the tires after the car has not been driven for several hours. Gauges at service stations are often inaccurate due to wear and tear and abuse.

  • Rotate your tires every six months. Check your owner's manual or call the tire manufacturer for the proper rotation pattern. After rotating your tires, you should adjust the air pressure to the correct level as recommended by the manufacturer for its new location. Tire rotation allows for maximum wear and tear.

  • If you see that your tires are wearing in an uneven or irregular pattern, you may have a significant alignment problem. You should have a qualified technician look at your vehicle.

  • When you replace your tires, try to use the same type of tires that were installed in the factory.

  • All-season tires are best for most passenger cars because they provide a good combination of grip on dry and wet roads, as well as in light snow.

  • If you live in the northern United States and experience heavy snowfall, you should consider buying and mounting winter tires.

  • Buy the freshest tires you can find because tires can harden and crack with age. Check the DOT code on any tire you are considering to buy. The DOT code can be found on the black-wall side of the tire. The DOT code is a 10-character code. It begins with "DOT." The last three digits are a date code that indicates the week and the year the tire was made. For example, 369 would indicate the 36th week of 1999.

  • When buying tires, check the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System issued by the federal government. You can find the ratings molded into the tire sidewalls. Tread-wear ratings indicate how long the tires will last. A tread-wear rating of 300 to 400 is considered good and 500 to 700 is considered very good. The traction rating indicates how well the tire will stop on a wet surface. Grades of AA, A, B, and C are used. Buy tires with a traction rating of AA or A. Temperature ratings indicate the tire's ability to dissipate heat. Grades of A, B, and C are used. Look for either an A or B rating.

  • When driving, always use your safety belt.

  • Never drive at a high rate of speed, especially during hot weather.

  • Never overload your vehicle.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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