No matter how safe a driver operates their vehicle, unexpected issues can arise. When something happens with a vehicle’s tires, drivers can lose control and it can lead to an unwanted accident. Whether driving to the beach or commuting to work, tire safety is critical to making sure that all Florida drivers reach their destinations safely. Spending a few extra minutes performing a tire safety check will ensure that tires are ready for any road conditions. Florida drivers are encouraged to consider the following tips to not only get the most use out of their tires, but also keep themselves and their passengers safe.

First, drivers should rotate their tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. This will ensure that tires wear at about the same time. Manufacturers suggest that tires be removed from a vehicle after a certain number of years have passed from the date of manufacture. Generally, it is recommended that tires be replaced after 6 years, or, at the very most, after 10 years. Over time, the rubber on tires become worn down, oxidized, and brittle. Even if an older tire still has visible tread, it is still more susceptible to tread belt separation or tire blowouts. If the vehicle’s tires are being replaced piecemeal, it is suggested that the newer tires be placed on the back axle. Placing newer tires on the back axle will help if the car loses traction. This is important because if traction is lost in the rear first, the car will spin, especially on wet roadways.

Next, drivers should follow instructions regarding their vehicle’s tire pressure and always keep it at the recommended level. Information about tire pressure can be found in a vehicle’s owner manual or the car door. Low tire pressure can cause tires to lose their grip, especially on wet and rainy surfaces. Tire pressure should be checked and maintained monthly. It is recommended that drivers check tires in the morning, when the pressures are both cool and stabilized. Likewise, tire tread should be checked regularly to make sure that tires are not bald. It is easy to check tread depth by using a quarter inserted upside down into the groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, it is time to start shopping for a new tire. Also, drivers should routinely check the walls of a tire to make sure that there is nothing wrong. If something unpredictable happens to a tire, such as being punctured by a loose nail, make sure that you have a spare available. Spare tires should be maintained as routinely as regular tires and are just as susceptible to aging. Accordingly, they should be replaced when necessary.

Lastly, choosing the right tires for a vehicle is critical and should be based on factors such as driving patterns, commuting distance, and local weather conditions. Tires should be highly rated for the type of vehicle being driven. Unfortunately, there are a number of tire recalls that occur each year. Defective tires could cause serious damage if left unchecked. Drivers are encouraged to routinely check for the most recent tire recalls to make sure that they are safe to use and should act promptly to have recalled tires replaced.

Wittmer|Linehan understands that properly maintaining and replacing tires is critical to the safety of everyone on our roadways. Sometimes, accidents can happen when individuals fail to maintain their vehicles and tires. Wittmer|Linehan has extensive experience litigating Florida automobile accidents. To speak with our experienced attorneys and staff, contact us at (941) 365-2296.