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Car Accidents Involving Underinflated Tires

A study from the NHTSA shows that underinflated and worn out tires can increase the risk of a car crash significantly.

St. Louis man checking tire pressure

For various reasons, hundreds of accidents occur on Missouri roads each day. While many accidents are caused due to the negligence of drivers, others are caused by vehicle defects, malfunctions, and other similar reasons. A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that even underinflated and worn out tires can increase the crash risk significantly. In this post, our St. Louis car accident lawyer will discuss this issue in detail.

The NHTSA study was based on data from 2005-2007. It was after this period that tire pressure monitoring systems were installed on many motor vehicles. The data showed that vehicles with tires that were underinflated by 25 percent or more were three times more likely to get into a crash compared to vehicles that had properly inflated tires. It was also found that underinflated tires had a 25 percent risk of becoming overheated, which can lead to vehicle failure, and also affect the handling of the motor vehicle.

The study also showed that nearly five percent of all motor vehicles studied experienced some type of tire issues right before a crash occurred. Of these five percent:

  • 66 percent were passengers cars
  • 17 percent were SUVs
  • 31 percent of the crashes were not related to the tires at all

This shows that tires issues are often evident right before a collision occurs.

What does this mean for the drivers?

Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that it is extremely important not only to inflate the tires properly but also to monitor the tread depth of the tires. This fact is reinforced by the statistics of the study that show that tire-related accidents are more likely to occur when the tire tread is worn out.

The study also revealed that the crash rates were 2.4 percent when the tires had proper tread depth. However, when the tires were underinflated or worn out, the crash rates rose to 26 percent. It is recommended that drivers should purchase new tires when the tread depth is 4/32” and some all-weather grip is still present.

If you drive a motor vehicle, you should ensure that the tires are in good condition at all times. Things are much easier if you have a tire pressure monitor installed in your vehicle, but if you don’t have one, you can always use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure of your tires on a regular basis.

Seeking legal help in a car accident case

It is the responsibility of all drivers to ensure that their vehicle is in a proper and safe working condition and pose no threat to anyone on the road. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver who failed to maintain his/her vehicle properly, you may have a car accident claim. You should get in touch with a competent and qualified St. Louis car crash lawyer to understand your rights. Call (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Updated: July 18, 2019