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Tire Safety Tips


tire safety tips

Driving down the highway at 75 to 80 miles per hour, you hear a loud pop. Next, your vehicle starts to spin out of control, and the traffic that was once far behind you begins to close in quickly.

This terrifying moment may have been avoided if you had only taken five minutes to check the tire pressure or rotated the tires before hitting the road. You and your vehicle escape unscathed, but many are less fortunate.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 622 fatal tire-related crashes on our roadways in 2021. And under-inflated tires are the overwhelming cause of these car accidents.

That’s why learning proper tire safety and maintenance practices is critical not just to you but also to your loved ones and unsuspecting drivers who share the roads with you.

There are many ways to stay on top of tire safety and maintenance, but here are some tips that the experts from AAA Texas, Bridgestone, Michelin, and NHTSA all agree should keep you much safer on the road.

Tire Safety Checklist

Check Tire Pressure

Tire safety tips

(recommended twice a month). This includes the spare tire. You wouldn’t want to have a flat and then find out your spare is of no use!

  • Most new model vehicles come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which lights up on your dashboard when the pressure is too low in any of your tires. That requires your immediate attention.
  • But the TPMS is not the only way to keep track of your tire pressure; some experts also believe it isn’t the best way.
  • The old stick-style pressure gauge applied to the tire valve is still the most reliable way to measure tire pressure. It’s suggested that everyone keep a manual gauge in their vehicle and check the tire pressure at least once a month.
  • While low tire pressure is the most significant cause of tire-related accidents, over-inflated tires can also cause problems. Tires with too much air can cause premature wear on your tire threads or bulging along the tire walls, leading to tire failure. Remember that the TPMS does not detect over-inflated tires.
  • It’s best for safety and fuel consumption to maintain tire pressure at the recommended inflation for your vehicle. The recommended pressure can be found inside the driver’s side door or in your owner’s manual. Check your tire pressure every 30 days and adjust the pressure accordingly.
  • Inspect tires to ensure all wear patterns are even. For example, check for foreign objects embedded in the tires, cracks, strange tread patterns, and other signs of trauma or wear.
  • Ensure all tire valves have valve caps.
  • Check the tire pressure regularly, especially before going on an extended trip.
  • Maintain proper vehicle loading! Your car’s loading information should be found in the owner’s manual. Ensuring that the car does not go past the maximum recommended load set for the vehicle will place less wear on the tire and help to avoid overloading, which can cause tire breakdown and crashes.
  • The above should also apply when towing trailers. Ensure the loaded trailer’s weight is correctly transferred to the towing vehicle. Once again, overloading and exceeding the maximum allotted weight can be disastrous for your tires.


Worn tire threads

Worn tire threads are also a significant cause of tire failure in vehicles. All tires have a bar in the groove molded to a 2/32nd of an inch height.

If the bridge in the groove is level with the top of the thread, then it’s time to change the tire. And if that is too complicated, stick a penny in the tire’s groove with Abraham Lincoln’s facing you. If you can see the entire top of Lincoln’s head when the penny is placed in the groove, it’s time to replace your tires.

When your tread depth falls to 3/32 of an inch or less, you are playing with fire as far as tires are concerned.


Wet roads are a widespread occurrence in Houston, Texas.Driving in the rain

One area studied is the stopping distance when standing water is on the roadway. Here are the results:

  • The stopping distance with full to mid-tread depth in standing water averages 160 feet at 60 mph.
  • With mid to minimum tread – 4/32 of an inch to 5/32 of an inch, stopping distance can increase to 205 feet under the same conditions.

With worn treads of 2 to 3/32 of an inch, stopping distance in wet weather can increase to 250 feet at 60 mph.


Also, check for uneven wear on your tires. Uneven wear could be a sign of mechanical problems, such that it’s time for a wheel alignment or the suspension is worn. It’s best to have your tires rotated every 3,000 to 4,000 miles to prevent uneven wear on tires.


There can be visible signs of tire problems before the pressure drops or the threads wear down. But to detect such early issues, you should regularly look over your tires or take your vehicle to a tire dealer.

Look for damage to the sidewall of the tire. You might notice a bulge in the sidewall, missing rubber, or a deep abrasion from hitting the curb. A lump in the sidewall usually means a broken cord inside the tire, while a chunk out of a tire larger than a dime could mean you are headed to tire failure soon. Examine your tires for uneven wear and replace worn tires.

Also, look for nails lodged into the thread of the tires. The nail may cause immediate pressure loss, and if you don’t repair or replace the tire, you will have problems with the tire.


It’s not enough to buy new tires for your vehicle. You also must stay informed.

Make sure you register your new tires so that you know immediately if there is a recall or a required inspection. Also, stay appraised of reviews on the different brands of tires to see which will perform best for your vehicle.

If you follow these helpful tips, you will have a safer experience, get more use out of your tire investment, and save on fuel consumption.


In cars and car maintenance, most individuals do not give much thought to the age of their tires. However, research has also shown that tires can become extremely hazardous if they are aged.

According to a report by ABC News, car companies Ford, GM, and Chrysler all urge motorists to replace tires that are six years of age or older because of the possibility the rubber in them could degrade and create a dangerous situation in which the tire loses its tread.”

Besides, according to Sean Kane, a safety consultant who works with state governments and local trial lawyers, 

If we think about a universal practice that inherently keeps you safe, six years is a good place to go.”

The problem has become so severe that many lobbyists are seeking to enact laws in eight states requiring the inspection of tires to gauge age. As noted, aging tires could cause failure and loss of control, resulting in injuries or even fatalities related to car accidents. American tire companies and tire industry trade groups, such as the Rubber Manufacturers Association, have defeated this proposed legislation.

Old tires can be more dangerous than most people know.

According to the NTSB Tire Symposium, “Since service and storage conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the actual serviceable life of any specific tire based on simple calendar year age is impossible.”

There is no specific age at which tire problems happen. For some tires, the potential problems may begin at six years, while for others, it may be much quicker. As noted by the NTSB, the key is to look for specific signs of aging to gauge whether or not your tire needs replacing.


Some of these signs include:

  • Physical signs of damage (cuts, cracks, bulges, vibration, etc.)
  • Signs of abuse (under inflation, overloading, etc.)


  • Tires, even spares, should be inspected monthly. This inspection should focus on inflation pressure, tread wear, and tire damage.
  • Inspection should be supplemented by rotation, balancing, and alignment services.
  • Tire condition should be assessed regularly to determine if there are any physical or visual signs of damage.

As always, if you have inspected the tire and seen any signs of damage, or you can feel the roughness of the road when driving (more so than usual), it is imperative to change your tires.

Remember, even though tire age and the need to replace said tire can fluctuate depending on many different factors, it is still essential that one continually inspects and maintains their tires, replacing them when necessary.

 Texas requires vehicle inspection at least once a year, and the purpose of the law is to make our roadways safer. Tires should be checked more frequently than annually to prevent car accidents. In doing so, one can avoid potential accidents from happening.


As the National Highway Transportation Bureau points out, at least 11,000 car accidents happen yearly due to tires. Additionally, tire failure caused over 700 fatal accidents last year. The Baumgartner Law Firm has won numerous lawsuits involving defective tires or tire failure. Here are a few examples:

*A pickup driver was traveling down the interstate when a tire failed. The blowout caused the driver to lose control and led to a rollover accident in which the driver was seriously injured. Our law firm investigated the crash and brought a lawsuit against the tire manufacturer. We settled just before the trial for a substantial sum.

* A family was going home, and a rear tire failed. This resulted in the driver losing control and crashing in a one-car accident. No one was killed, but several were injured. We investigated the crash and the tire and obtained a substantial recovery for the family.


You must save the tire. To prove a tire is defective, you must have the tire for inspection and analysis by a qualified expert witness. If the tire is not preserved, the chance of your attorney being able to prove your case against a manufacturer or other person is slim to none.

Consider hiring an attorney experienced in winning tire failure cases to investigate your case and preserve the tire remnants.


If you have been in an accident because of a tire failure, talk to a personal injury lawyer in Texas at Baumgartner Law Firm for a FREE no-obligation consultation. (281) 587-1111.

We have won tire failure cases for over three decades.

Contact The Houston Personal Injury Lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm for Help

If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, and need help, contact our Houston auto accident lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm by calling (281) 587-1111.

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy

Houston, TX 77069

(281) 587-1111


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About Our Law Firm

Baumgartner Law Firm is a top-rated Houston personal injury law firm headed by Greg Baumgartner.

Our firm was established in 1985 and has helped thousands of injury victims get maximum compensation for their cases. If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. (281) 587-1111.

Helping these areas around Houston

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