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NHTSA Study Highlights Dangers of Underinflated Tires

ConsumerReports.org released an article earlier this week discussing a recently completed study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which highlights the dangers associated with underinflated and worn-out tires.

Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked at crash data from 2005 through 2007 – before tire-pressure monitoring systems were required to be installed on all vehicles. It was revealed that vehicles driving on tires underinflated by more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than vehicles with proper inflation. Additionally, it was found that underinflated tires of up to 25 percent run the risk of overheating, causing vehicle failure, and even adversely affecting the handling and treat life of the motor vehicle.

Another component of the study revealed that roughly around 5 percent of all vehicles studied experienced some sort of tire issues almost immediately prior to a collision – with approximately 66 percent of those vehicles representing passenger cars, 17 percent Sports Utility Vehicles, and 31 percent of single vehicle accidents were not related to tires. Ultimately, this reinforces the fact that tire problems are evident during the period of time before a collision – which, our Chicago truck accident lawyers learned, often leaves a very small window for attempting a crash avoidance maneuver.

In light of this study, the article recommends drivers to not only properly inflate tires but to closely monitor the condition of tire tread depth. This recommendation comes from statistics from the study which should that tire-related crashes were more likely as a vehicle’s tire treat wears. Our Chicago trucking accident attorneys learned that accident rates were recorded at roughly 2.4 percent when tires had near full tread depth to 26 percent when tires were worn out. Overall, it is highly encouraged that drivers purchase new tires at 4/32″ tread depth while some all-weather grip is still available.

Given the information provided in this study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each Chicago truck accident attorney at Levin & Perconti recommends that drivers of all types of motor vehicles maintain proper inflation on their vehicle’s tires. Whether your motor vehicle has a tire pressure monitor installed or you use a tire pressure gauge – checking a vehicles tire pressure is an important procedure that can help prevent the risk of motor vehicle accidents resulting in severe personal injury or even untimely death.