Florida Highway Patrol

Authorities Give Tire Safety Warning Ahead of Labor Day Weekend

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Tire failure can lead to dangerous accidents on the road and put your safety at risk.

The Florida Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to check their tires a day after a 1-year-old boy died and six others were injured in a crash on Alligator Alley.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Yanko Reyes says a tire blowout may have led to the incident.

“The investigation has revealed that it may have been a possible tire blowout which may have caused the vehicle to lose control, swerve, and roll over,” Reyes said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 671 fatalities in tire-related traffic crashes in 2018. Of those, 64 were in Florida. NHTSA has not released the data for 2019 and 2020.

Experts say you should pay close attention to your tires in the warmer months.

“Most of our tire failure cases they are occurring, one, in the south, and two, in the summer,” said Kyle Farrah, an attorney who specializes in tire failure litigation.

He says heat build-up in your tires can cause them to fail prematurely and outside temperature can play a role.

“Before a tire fails, there is typically some visual cues on the tire whether it is a spot that wears out way faster or something internal in the tire going wrong,” Farrah explained.

Experts with Consumer Reports suggest taking a look at your tires once a month to make sure they are properly inflated. They also recommend to check for cracks or cuts in the sidewall, tread issues, or any blisters or bulges. You may also want to be on the lookout for excessive vibration.

Experts say all of these could be warning signs that your tires need to be looked at by a professional.

“The industry, many of the manufacturers, will indicate that a tire that is approaching 10 years of life should probably be removed regardless if it appears to be in a good state or not,” said Consumer Reports Tire Program Manager Gene Peterson.

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