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Tire Pressure Can Mean the Difference in a Big Accident and a Fender Bender

The whole world knows about the beautiful weather of the Sunshine State. What everyone doesn’t realize, however, is that weather does become hazardous here. When the rest of the nation is suffering through freezing temps we are suffering too but for a slightly different reason.

We don’t have freezing temps but things do get considerably wetter, foggier and colder in the Sacramento area during the winter months. From November through January, when the season is in full swing, Sacramento drivers are at a higher risk for car accidents.

Tires are more important than the average driver realizes. Sure we know we can’t go anywhere without them but they also play a major part in driver safety. Making sure they are properly pressurized is a major part of auto maintenance. It is also imperative for all drivers to be aware of a few safety tips in case of tire issues on the road.

Nearly a quarter million car accidents happen each year that are related to tire pressure problems. Many drivers are unaware of the importance of tire pressure. It affects the way the vehicle handles on the road.  The steering, braking, traction and stability of the vehicle are all affected by the tire pressure.

Adequate tire pressure can be tricky. Drivers are unable to judge the tire pressure by looking at the tire. They may not appear flat or low but still not have the proper pressure. Pressure in the tires can dissipate as much as 50% before the tire appears to be flat or low when a visual inspection is conducted. Regular tire pressure checks are the only way to know for sure.

While car accidents happen for any number of reasons, low tire pressure and wet, cold, foggy temperatures like a Sacramento winter can bring make the chances far greater. Tire pressure fluctuates with the temperature. What was good pressure in the summer doesn’t work as well on cold wet roads. Check the tire pressure before long trips but do it when the car is off and the tires are their coolest.

Another important tire safety tip is to mind the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), installed in all U.S. vehicles after 2008. A light will appear on the dash indicating that one or more tires is less than 25% full. It is imperative not to ignore these warning lights. To do so could mean a car accident, personal injury and even death.

The tire placard shows the manufactures recommended tire pressure and should be adhered to at all costs. It can be found just inside the driver side door. Drivers are encouraged to pull over to the side of the road to check the tire pressure if it feels low.

The most important tire safety tip of all may be to remember a spare. If a blowout or flat occurs prepared drivers can simply change the tire and have the flat tire fixed later by a professional. Checking tire pressure can save money as well as lives. It’s a simple task that makes a major difference.