The Summer is Here; It’s Time to Check Your Tires
With July already on us, it’s been time to check your tires for a while now. Summer heat does a number of nasty things to tires. This can result in tire blowouts, tread separation, sidewall failure, and more. When this happens while your car is in motion, it can result in a severe (even fatal) accident.
Heat and Your Tire Pressure
The hotter it gets outside, the more your tire will inflate. This is no secret to anyone who took a high school chemistry class. Heat and pressure are both kinetic energy. Heat causes molecules to move faster which increases pressure within a closed system. The hotter it is, the more pressure there is within your tire.
In fact, for every 10 degrees of Fahrenheit, an extra pound of PSI is added to the tire. This makes tires that are overinflated into tires that are dangerously overinflated.
Overinflated tires are significantly weaker than those that are properly inflated. The added pressure inside weakens the tire casing. It can also cause the tread to separate from the casing. It is important to check your tire pressure regularly to ensure that an extra-hot day isn’t putting you in danger.
Heat and Tire Rubber
There is a great deal of debate over how long tires last. The tire companies say that they can last for a long time so long as the treads haven’t worn down. However, some consumer groups believe that tires have a shelf life regardless of the conditions of the treads. The main culprit? Heat.
Over a long enough time period, heat will cause the tire’s rubber to harden resulting in a less pliant tire. This can make your tire susceptible to blowouts caused by road debris, potholes, or direct trauma. Small micro-tears will form in the fibers and, over time, this will considerably weaken the tire.
Driving on old tires is not recommended. Older tires often experience issues with both the sidewalls and the treads. This is of particular importance for those living north of us. These folks tend not to take out their motorcycles and sports cars in the winter months. This leaves their tires with a solid amount of treading, but the rubber itself can be dangerous to drive on. Those driving sports cars and motorcycles during the summer months are advised to replace their tires, regardless of the condition of the treads, once every six years. But since many believe that the tire is still good because the tread is still under warranty, some find themselves in major tire blowout accidents.
Talk to a Defective Tire Attorney in Florida
While tire maintenance is every driver’s responsibility, a small fraction of tire blowouts are caused by manufacturing defects or a design failure. In that case, it’s the tire company that is responsible for the accident and they should pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. Call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today to schedule a free consultation.