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Bad tires and bad accidents: How they're related

A bad tire is bad news on the road -- and not just because there's the risk of a flat. A car that's being driven around on threadbare, poorly-maintained tires puts lives in danger.

Experts have been urging drivers for years to make sure that they constantly check their tires for proper air pressure -- if only because improperly inflated tires can cause damage to the vehicle over time. However, new studies indicate that cars with underinflated tires are actually a serious safety issue -- they're in 3 times more accidents than cars with properly inflated tires.

Other tire problems also lead to unnecessary accidents. There are several common tire problems that can be avoided with just a little extra care:

-- Dry rot is a condition often seen on cars when the owners have let the car sit unused for a while in storage or have purchased second-hand tires that still have plenty of good tread on them but were left sitting in an overheated storage area for months. Dry rot causes the rubber to become brittle, which makes the tire suddenly crack.

-- Tires don't have to be bald or threadbare to have inadequate tread. Owners should constantly be on the watch for treads that are worn down and too smooth to properly grip the road, especially in bad weather.

-- Overinflated tires can be just as dangerous as underinflated ones. If a tire is overinflated, it puts too much pressure on the sidewalls. A pothole or bump in the road can cause the tire to burst, sending the car careening into another vehicle.

-- Second-hand tires that have been retreaded improperly can suddenly peel while in motion. That can be a hazard both for the vehicle that loses the tread and another vehicle if the thrown tread rolls and catches under the second vehicle's wheels.

What does this information mean to a conscientious driver on the road? If you're in a motor vehicle accident, take a peek at the tires of the other vehicle involved to see if one or more of the vehicle's tires may have caused the accident. You may also want to snap a quick picture of the tires while you're taking photos of the damage, just in case the question of negligence arises down the line.

For more information on car accident injury claims, speak to an attorney today.

Source: NHTSA, "Tire-Related Factors in the Pre-Crash Phase," accessed July 07, 2017

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