Having properly inflated tires not only helps increase the number of miles you can drive on a tank of gas, but they can help prevent you from engaging in a car crash. USA Today cited that “a tire [that is] 25% below its recommended pressure is three times as likely to be involved in a crash, while a tire 25% [higher than the recommended amount] is twice as likely as a properly inflated tire.” The fact is, “the air in your tires is what actually carries the weight of your car,” says Woody Rogers, who is a product information specialist for an online tire retailer.
Therefore, when your tire pressure is above or below the suggested amount your vehicle and tire manufacturer recommends, you put yourself and those traveling with you at risk of engaging in an accident.
Dangers Associated with Driving on Underinflated Tires
Driving on under-inflated tires carries serious risks, especially when the driver is unaware their tire pressure has dropped below the recommended psi level. Some of the reasons why it is so dangerous to drive on under-inflated tires are highlighted for you below.
- The tires might be “slower at responding to a quick tap of the brakes” when making a turn or performing another maneuver.
- “Braking [is] less decisive” and a driver might experience “longer stopping distance.”
Let’s imagine traffic came to an abrupt stop and you had to slam on your brakes. If your tire pressure was far below the recommended psi level, your vehicle could take longer to stop which could potentially cause you to rear-end the driver in front of you.
- Tires that are “underinflated up to 25 percent run the risk of overheating, leading to failure, and at the very least adversely affecting handling and tread life” [Source: Consumer Reports].
- “Under-inflation puts too much pressure on the tire’s sidewalls” which can cause them to “look like they’re bulging outward.”
Some of the information provided above was based on a test conducted by individuals at Autotrader and Kal Tire.
Why is it risky to drive on over-inflated tires?
Just as it is dangerous to drive on under-inflated tires, it is equally dangerous to operate a vehicle with tires that are over-inflated. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Over-inflated tires “can cause blowouts on long drives, carrying heavy loads or in extremely hot temperatures.”
- “They also impair handling because over-inflation means less of the tire’s surface is in contact with the road than the manufacturer intended.”
Interesting Fact: According to a survey that was conducted by Transport Canada, “up to 50 percent of cars on the road have at least one tire that is 10 percent under- or over-inflated, and 10 percent of those are under-inflated by as much as 20 percent.”
Accident Involving 18-Wheeler in Madison County, MS Results in the Death of 3 Children
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident and if issues with low tire pressure played a role in the wreck.
WLBT reported on an 18-wheeler accident that recently occurred in Madison County, MS on I-55. The source said it was during the evening hours on a Saturday when the truck struck the back of an Altima, sending it into the guardrail. While the driver of the 18-wheeler did not suffer any injuries, three children, identified as 6-year-old Jayden Pepper, 8-year-old Kambreonna Brown, and 1-year-old Anomie Johnson were killed in the truck accident. Two adults who had been occupying the Altima did survive along with a 6-month-old girl. All of the survivors of the crash were transported to UMMC with non-life-threatening injuries.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Master Sergeant Eric Henry said that “the Altima was going slower than 70 mph because of issues with low tire pressure when the accident happened.” The source reported that an “accident reconstruction team [was] investigating the crash.
What should I do if I was involved in a car accident in Madison, MS because of an issue with my tires?
While the accident could have happened as a result of your tire pressure being too low or too high, our car accident lawyers in Madison, MS won’t know the exact cause until we have had the opportunity to conduct an investigation of our own. In the event you failed to maintain the proper psi level in your tires, you may still be entitled to recover compensation from your insurance carrier given you have adequate coverage. But, if the accident happened on account of defective tires, then you may have a personal injury claim on your hands, and you are going to need to obtain legal representation.
In order to determine what type of case you might have as well as which parties can be pursued for compensation, we recommend you contact Ballard Law, PLLC as soon as possible.
Ballard Law, PLLC is conveniently located at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201