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I recently returned from a 15 hour road trip down the east coast. In preparation for that trip I had to undertake certain vehicle inspections to verify that my vehicle was road ready, and to my surprise my car was diagnosed with a bad tire. It was then that I thought how often do people perform normal safety checks on their vehicles.

If you are a NASCAR fan, you may have seen the horrible tire blowout as the driver struggles to get the car under control, it is sheer training. But for the lay person, it’s best to avoid the risk all together by checking tire pressure and wear and tear often. A tire blowout on the highway at high speeds can be dangerous and perhaps fatal.

According to National Automotive Sampling System:

“NASS-CDS data for 1995 through 1998 (with predominately radial tires) were examined and average annual estimates there are an estimated 23,464 tow-away crashes caused per year by blowouts or flat tires. Thus, about one half of one percent of all crashes are caused by these tire problems. When these cases are broken down by passenger cars versus light trucks, blowouts cause more than three times the number of crashes in light trucks (0.99 percent) than in passenger cars (0.31 percent). Blowouts cause a much higher proportion of rollover crashes (4.81 percent) than non-rollover crashes (0.28 percent); and the rate in light trucks (6.88 percent) is more than three times the rate in passenger cars (1.87 percent).”

It is said that tires last 35,000 to 50,000 miles on average. Experts suggest that you still check your tires as often as possible – checking the pressure and making sure that your tire is not bald and that the metal threads on your tire are not shown. If you are within that 35,000 to 50,000 mile range and you see threads, you might want to check with the manufacturer to verify the tire’s warranty. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in a situation where you see that your tire is bald and wiring is showing, do your family and friends a favor and replace it with a spare or have the vehicle towed to the nearest tire shop.

Best regards,

Marlon A. Scarlett

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