There Is More To Tire Safety Thank Checking Air Pressure
By: Matt Wetherington
Every consumer knows to periodically check the pressure and occasionally rotate and balance their tires. But very few consumers know of the hidden hazards that affect EVERY passenger tire in the United States. These hazards hit warm-weather states like Georgia, Florida, and Texas the hardest. Every year I help work with dozens of Georgia families who have lost a loved one due to a tire failure.
For example, most consumers do not know that a passenger tire has a lifespan of only six years. Because the country’s cars are older than ever before and such a high percentage of American drivers are postponing tire maintenance due to COVID-19, millions of consumers are driving cars equipped with expired, unsafe tires. This distressing result is not particularly surprising, as research at North Carolina State University indicates that only 4 percent of consumers consider tire aging as being potentially hazardous.
Similarly, despite knowing that tire pressure is important, very few consumers know how to properly check tire pressure or simply rely on deceptive tire pressure sensors equipped on their vehicles. In 2011, an RMA survey of 1,000 motorists revealed that only 15 percent even know how to accurately check tire pressure. This is why over 50 percent of American vehicles have at least one under-inflated tire.
The solution is simple. Include tires in Georgia’s annual vehicle inspection. A test for inflation, age, and recall status can easily be included in the existing inspection protocol. Several other states have successfully implemented similar programs. A 2009 study sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation determined that the state’s motor vehicle safety inspection program prevents almost 170 fatal crashes annually, saving up to 187 lives every year.
Simply stated, thousands of dangerous tires are currently on Georgia’s roadways. Hundreds of people will needlessly die because of those tires. If Georgia would make tire safety part of its vehicle safety program, lives will be saved.