Bad tires are a recipe for disaster, and Florida drivers must pay close attention to their tires to avoid serious and catastrophic accidents. According to a recent NHTSA report, over 400 fatalities, 10,000 injuries, and 78,000 crashes occur annually due to flat tires or blowouts in the United States.
Fortunately, you can minimize the risk of a tire blowout by being proactive and taking the right steps.
Why Do Tire Blowouts Occur in Florida?
Florida’s climate and road conditions present unique challenges that can increase the risk of a tire blowout. Being aware of these factors can help you take steps to prevent blowouts and serious Florida car accidents from occurring.
High Temperatures and Hot Pavement
Florida’s tropical climate is known for its intense heat, especially during summer. The combination of high temperatures and hot pavement can increase tire stress. Under the scorching sun, the air inside your tires expands, leading to higher tire pressure. Overinflated tires are more prone to blowouts.
Overloading and Weight Distribution
Florida drivers and visitors often have cars packed to the brim for road trips as they head to the beach or on vacation. However, overloading a vehicle beyond its recommended capacity strains the tires, particularly in the sweltering heat. The extra weight can escalate the risk of blowouts, especially when combined with high temperatures.
Road Debris and Hazards
Florida’s roads are often full of debris and hazards. Debris, rocks, broken glass, and other foreign objects can litter the roadways. Hitting these objects at high speeds can cause punctures or damage to your tires, increasing the likelihood of blowouts.
Abrasive Road Surfaces
Florida roads are often constructed using materials that can be abrasive to tires. High temperatures and rough road surfaces can accelerate tire wear and tear. Worn-out tires are more susceptible to blowouts.
Tire Age and UV Exposure
The intense Florida sun can lead to UV radiation exposure, which can degrade tire rubber over time. Even if your tires have plenty of tread left, their structural integrity can weaken due to prolonged UV exposure. Replacing tires over six years old, regardless of their apparent condition, is recommended to reduce the risk of blowouts caused by age-related deterioration.
The flaws in the tire’s construction or materials might not be visible at first glance, but they can lead to catastrophic tire blowouts. Tire defects can include issues with the tire’s internal components, like the belts and cords that provide strength, and problems with the overall quality of the tire’s construction. When a defective tire causes your accident, you may be able to hold the manufacturer at fault for your tire blowout accident.
Tips for Preventing Tire Blowouts
Florida’s climate and road conditions contribute to the increased risk of tire blowouts. By staying proactive in tire maintenance, checking tire pressure regularly, distributing weight properly, avoiding road hazards, and responding to warning signs promptly, you can significantly reduce the chances of experiencing a tire blowout on the Sunshine State’s roads.
To reduce your chance of a tire blowout, follow these tips!
Perform Regular Tire Maintenance
Preventing tire blowouts starts with consistent tire maintenance. Regularly checking your tire pressure is a critical step. An easy-to-use tire pressure gauge allows you to accurately measure the air pressure within your tires. Remember that different vehicles have different pressure requirements, so consult your vehicle’s manual for the correct values. Proper tire inflation ensures an even weight distribution and reduces the risk of blowouts.
Alongside pressure, inspect your tire tread depth. A simple way to check this is by using the “penny test.” Insert a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing downward. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tire.
Pack Your Car Appropriately
When packing up the car for a road trip or vacation, it’s tempting to fit in as much as possible. However, remember that every vehicle has a load capacity limit. Exceeding this limit strains your tires, increasing heat buildup and a higher risk of blowouts. To prevent this, familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s load capacity, often mentioned in the owner’s manual. Distribute the weight evenly throughout the vehicle, placing heavier items closer to the vehicle’s center. This balance reduces the strain on individual tires and enhances overall stability.
Avoid Road Hazards
Florida’s roads can be a mix of smooth highways and unexpected challenges. Potholes, debris, and uneven surfaces are all potential hazards that can damage your tires and lead to blowouts. Defensive driving is your ally here. When you spot a pothole or debris ahead, slow down and safely maneuver around it. Abruptly swerving to avoid hazards can be just as dangerous as hitting them directly, so make controlled movements. Additionally, keeping a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you gives you more time to react to sudden obstacles.
Choose the Right Tire
Choosing the right tires for your vehicle and your driving conditions is pivotal. Tires are designed with specific purposes in mind, from all-season tires that handle a variety of weather conditions to specialized winter tires for icy roads. All-season tires are generally suitable for year-round driving in Florida’s warm climate. However, considering a set of winter tires might be wise if you frequently travel to areas with colder climates. Consult tire experts to find the perfect match for your vehicle and driving habits.
Inspect Your Tires Frequently
It is crucial to give your tires a thorough inspection routinely. This is especially important if you’re planning a road trip across Florida’s diverse terrains. Start by visually examining each tire for signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or punctures. Next, use a tire pressure gauge to ensure your tires are properly inflated according to your vehicle’s specifications. Remember to include the spare tire in your inspection – it’s often overlooked but plays a vital role in emergencies.
Respond to Warning Signs
Your tires often provide warning signs before a blowout occurs. If you notice unusual vibrations, hear thumping sounds, or feel an uneven pull while driving, these could indicate tire trouble. In such cases, it’s essential to respond promptly. Safely pull over to a designated area, away from the traffic flow, and assess the situation. If you’re uncomfortable assessing the tires, consider calling for roadside assistance. Addressing these warning signs can prevent a blowout and keep you and your passengers out of harm’s way.
Tire blowouts can be terrifying and even life-threatening, but you can significantly reduce the risk with proactive measures. Regular tire maintenance, conscientious driving, and swift action in response to warning signs are the cornerstones of tire safety. By following these guidelines, you’re not just safeguarding against blowouts but contributing to the overall safety of Florida’s roads.
How Dangerous Are Your Tires?
Tire problems pose inherent risks to vehicle safety, especially just before a crash. The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) records tire-related issues as associated factors, critical pre-crash events, and reasons for these events. Approximately 5 percent of vehicles involved in NMVCCS crashes encountered tire problems during the crash. Among these, passenger cars comprised around 66 percent.
Vehicles with prior tire damage or tires inflated over 25 percent of the recommended pressure have a higher likelihood of experiencing tire problems. Inadequate tread depth is linked to tire issues during a crash, and rollover incidents are also associated with pre-crash tire problems. Adverse road conditions, such as wet roads, increase the vulnerability of vehicles to tire problems. Lack of driving experience and unfamiliarity with the vehicle contribute to tire-related problems during crashes.
In essence, while tire problems on their own increase the risk of crashes, other factors like driver inexperience and adverse road conditions can further amplify this risk by influencing pre-crash tire problems. This study underscores the significance of regularly monitoring tire tread depth and maintaining proper inflation pressure for all tires. By doing so, drivers can reduce the risk of tire blowout accidents.
Contact Our Florida Defective Tire Attorneys
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a car accident in Florida, you need a lawyer on your side from the start. The experienced car accident lawyers at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA., are here to help you navigate the legal process, secure your rights, and pursue the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.