Sometimes I like to post about happenings in my life, and I feel like I have to tell you all about my near death experience this weekend. This story should prove to you why it is CRUCIAL to have your tires checked often. I used to think that it wasn't that important; but after this experience, I will not be going out on the road without double checking them.
My friend and I were on our way back to school from Easter break. It was getting to be late at night (10ish) and she was too tired to drive so I took over the wheel. Her car drives very differently from mine and vibrates constantly. She assured me that this was normal, but I knew that it shouldn't be. I lost control of the vehicle at 70 mph and swerved off the side of the highway. Thinking that we had just had a flat tire, I look out on my side to notice that the bumper is hanging on the ground!! Here is what we found...
Yes, at first we thought that someone had swerved into us and hit the bumper... but that was not the case. After calling a guy friend that was only 10 miles ahead of us (THANK THE LORD!), he turned around to come to our aid. We were able to make it off the side of the highway and to a gas station were we could better evaluate the situation.
The conclusion was made that our accident had been cause by improper tire care. The entire tread to the back tire is sitting on the highway somewhere in Nashville right now! I am sure you are wondering how we limped back to school?! Well... we had a full spare, so we changed that. Then we needed to address the bumper issue. Duct tape is one of the single best inventions. Check out our body work... and the tape even blends in with the paint color! ha!
Now for the moral of the story. Here is an article that I found from Popular Mechanics on the top 5 reasons that your tires could fail. Please make sure to have your tires maintained and properly inflated so that you don't have to almost loose a bumper (or something worse!).
As the old TV commercial says, there's a lot riding on your tires. Indeed, tires could well be the most important system on your vehicle, given that they affect every performance parameter from handling and acceleration to braking and ride comfort. So it's no surprise that maintenance on your tires should command as much respect, if not more, than on all the other parts and systems of your car. Trouble is, most drivers just don't think about the condition of their tires. As I've mentioned before in discussing the whole Barack Obama tire inflation thing, a Department of Transportation study dating back to 2001 features some pretty eye-popping numbers: 60 to 80 percent of cars on the road are running tires underinflated by as much as 10 percent, 20 to 50 percent of them are driving with tires down in pressure by as much as 20 percent, and 10 to 30 percent of these cars have tires with pressure as low as 30 percent of the recommended pressure. Underinflation is just one reason a tire can fail. Here are four more. —Mike Allen