A 2014 car accident involving a Lafayette High School bus and an SUV shows why it is important to maintain tires. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the crash occurred because the SUV’s left rear tire separated from its tread, sending the large vehicle crashing into a school bus at 70 mph. Four out of five people in the SUV lost their lives and 30 Lafayette High School students were injured.
The NTSB investigation discovered the tires on the SUV were 10 years old and in danger of deflating. Accidents similar to this one occur 33,000 times a year across the country, causing 19,000 injuries.
Poor tires are especially dangerous in winter months. Cold weather can cause tires to deflate faster than normal. In addition, poor tread depth can cause tires to lose traction with the road, resulting in car accidents similar to the one we have written about today.
How Can Families Ensure Proper Tire Maintenance?
Fortunately, there are several ways motorists can protect themselves and their families. The NTSB recommends never driving on tires with tread depths of 2/32 inch. While 2/32 inch is the state minimum in Louisiana, motorists driving on such poor tires are risking car accidents. In the accident involving a school bus, the driver was using a tire with 2/32 inch tread.
NTSB guidelines recommend inflating tires to pressures indicated in the vehicle owner’s manual, examining tires for punctures and bald spots, and monitoring tire pressure. By catching poor pressure and punctures on tires, future blowout accidents might be avoided. No family should ever suffer the consequences of a preventable tragedy.