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Keeping tires cooler, safer during a heat wave

As summer heats up, getting behind the wheel can be deceptively dangerous. Here in Southern California, where the local temperatures have been reaching sweltering heights in recent months,the heat can compromise your vehicle's tires without you knowing.

For tires that are not maintained properly, the high heat can lead to structural failures and even blowouts while you are driving. Maintaining your tires properly can save you a lot of money on unnecessary tire replacement at the very least, and save you costly injury on death at worst.

One of the most efficient ways to protect your tires from heat-related structural failures is to keep them properly inflated. Just as changing the oil regularly helps keep your vehicle healthy, maintaining proper tire pressure keeps your tires healthy.

An under-inflated tire generates more heat while in motion because of greater-than-normal flexing of the sidewall. Not only does the tire create more heat that may compromise the structure of the tire, it also decreases fuel efficiency and reduces how well the entire vehicle handles on the road.

Over-inflating a tire can also have an adverse effect on the life and performance of a tire in high heat conditions. When you over-inflate a tire, the top ride of the tread becomes worn out more quickly and inconsistently with the rest of the tire tread. The thinner that any area of the tread becomes, the more susceptible it will be to overheating.

On a day where the ambient temperature reaches 90 degrees, pavement that is exposed to direct sunlight may exceed 150 degrees -- a dangerously high temperature for a tire which is already running thin

Proper tire pressure inflation is not only good for safer driving, but it increases the performance of the vehicle and increases fuel efficiency, saving you money at the pump.

No matter how diligent we are about keeping are tires and our vehicles as a whole in good shape, we can't guarantee that others will do the same. Accidents can result from a blown tire or other malfunction. The guidance of an experienced attorney can help ensure that you are able to recover from the accident and be compensated fairly for any losses you may experience because of another driver's negligence.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Tips To Keep Tires Cool During Summer," accessed July 29, 2016

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