Recently, I have spoken a lot about distracted driving whether it be through the use of cell phones, texting, radio station changing, alcohol or drugs. But emphasis should also be placed on vehicle maintenance when it comes to avoiding car accidents. A recent bus accident in Litchfield, Illinois, which is just an hour north of St. Louis, Missouri proved fatal last week.
As I am from Springfield, Illinois, news of this bus accident caught by eye, especially since I had just traveled that very highway the day before. According to reports, the Megabus was headed from Chicago, Illinois to Kansas City. The news outlets have reported that a tire blowout occurred, immediately causing the driver of hte Megabus to lose control and crash head-on to the support pillar of a bridge on Interstate 55.
While people typically know the importance of maintaining your vehicle via transmission flushes and oil changes, drivers often forget about the importance of tire maintenance. Most vehicle tires are only safe up to a certain mileage. While some believe they can "tell" when the tire has reached the end of its lifespan by simply looking at the remaining tread, it is always a good idea to have an expert car mechanic, someone you trust, make that decision. Also, even if your tires haven't hit the mileage maximum, it is possible that they are still too old. Tires should only be on a car for a certain number of years. Tire manufacturers are required to print the date of manufactur on the tire where it is easy to see so that lay people can determine how old the tires are. However, the manufacturers don't always do this – recent reports reveal that the manufacture date of most tires is difficult to read and most are printed on the inside of the tire, which pretty much requires removal of the tire to check the date.
In addition to improper maintenance being the cause of tire failure, tires can also suffer from manufacturing defects. Tires are supposed to to be able to withstand certain elements – snow, ice, water, dirt, grease, oil. Sometimes, tires are not properly manufactured and when they come into contact with these elements, the rubber tires break down. Also, sometimes the tread on the tire is not manufactured correctly and/or not adhered to the tire body correctly.
Safe tires can definitely help prevent car accidents and bus accidents. For more helpful information on the safety of your vehicle tires, check out any of the below:
- Blown tire likely caused deadly Megabus crash [AP via USA Today]
- Megabus Crashes Into Bridge: At Least 1 Dead, Dozens Injured After Double-Decker Bus Blows Tire[Jim Slater at Huffington Post]
- Megabus Crashes Into Illinois Bridge [ABC News Video]
- How Important Is the Age of Your Tires? [The Safety Report]
- Did You Know… Tires Have An Expiration Date?
- Blown Tire Leads to Megabush Crash; Fatality [Brett Emison, Legal Examiner]
Lindsay Rakers is a Missouri and Illinois accident injury attorney. She helps victims of the following: St. Louis car accidents, OFallon Illinois car accidents, Edwardsville Illinois car accidents, Belleville Illinois car accidents, St. Clair County Illinois car accidents, Madison County Illinois car accidents.