The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today cautioned motorists that hot weather and under-inflated tires are a dangerous combination. In the summer months, while vehicles are being driven at highway speeds, the heat and hot roadways contribute to the breakdown of tires and a greater likelihood for tire failure.
NHTSA estimates that tire failure causes approximately 11,000 crashes a year. The most common cause of failure includes tread separations, blowouts, bald tires and under-inflated tires. Under inflated tires or worn down treads are a major cause of failure. Under-inflation also leads to poor fuel economy, sluggish handling, longer stopping distances and increased stress on tire components.
Proper pressure is the most important part of maintaining a vehicle's tires. Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction and load carrying capability of vehicle's and can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent.
To prevent tire failure, NHTSA offers the following safety recommendations:
Read the publication Safety in Numbers on tire maintenance and safety.
For more information about tire safety, visit www.safercar.gov/Tire.