Road Trip Safety

It’s summertime, and you’re headed out with your friends on a blissful journey to your favorite location. Taking a road trip requires a number of measures to make sure that everything moves smoothly. The Personal Injury Law Offices of Laskin Balma recommends a thorough check-up – changing the engine oil, checking fluids, checking the air filter, making sure all lights and signals are fully functional, check the battery, checking to make sure you have fully-functional auto emergency equipment, check tire wear using tread gauge, and of course, maximize the air in your tires.

Unsafe vehicles are a primary cause for accidents. The driver has a responsibility to keep their vehicle in good working condition. They can be held liable for an accident due to vehicle malfunction or defect. California Vehicle Code section 24002(a) states “It is unlawful to operate any vehicle or combination of vehicles that are of unsafe conditions, or which is not safely loaded, and which presents an immediate safety hazard.” 

The Personal Injury Law Offices of Laskin Balma emphasizes that tire pressure and attention to tire tread wear is the most important aspect of the road trip. Your tires are everything when you are on the road – your primary source of contact – and when tires are not tended to, severe fallacies may follow. 

There is a number on your tires that indicates the maximum amount of pressure that can be withstood. To exceed this capacity would cause a blowout, and on the contrary – not enough pressure in the tires may lead to wasted fuel and hotter tires. Auto gauges can be bought at auto supply stores to insert the perfect amount of air into your tires. Air hoses are also available at all gas stations.

A tire gauge can also indicate whether your tires can last the entire journey. The Personal Injury Law Offices of Laskin Balma notes that the tread is 1/16th inch or 1.6 millimeters. If the gauge shows any less than 2/32-inch tread depth or uneven wear (wear on one side of the tread but not the other), it is time to buy a new tire, as the old tire may blow out during the trip. If there are any flat spots on the tire, please take the tire to a tire service professional as soon as possible.

Summer heat also plays a factor in the tire tread breaking down. When it’s hot outside, especially with rising temperatures, rubber breaks down and wears out more quickly as it rolls over the pavement, which is much higher in temperature than the air.

Also, when your tires are warm, the accuracy of tire pressure may be a bit off, as a heated tire at manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure could be anywhere from two to five psi under-inflated when at a cooler temperature. 

Beyond all the technicalities, The Personal Injury Law Offices of Laskin Balma gets down to the pavement to make sure tires are smooth – without cracks, punctures, splits, or bruises on the tread or sidewall area. Bumps or bulges could indicate separation with the tire body.

Of course, be mindful of your mileage, and the manufacturer’s instructions on tire health – rotating to their specification or every 5,000 miles. This promotes even tread wear and helps tires to perform as they were designed.

The Personal Injury Law Offices of Laskin Balma tells drivers and passengers to be mindful of your carload – Packing only what is necessary will keep the weight of your car to a suitable level, preventing stress to tires. Each tire has a maximum load rating stamped on the sidewall. By following these rules, a smooth ride is ensured. Remember that the heavier the car is, the worse the fuel economy will be. When traveling long distances with a full car load, drive carefully. By traveling the speed limit, you will maintain tire pressure in relation to the weight of the car and the passengers within.