The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is urging motorists to regularly check their tires before traveling this summer. At the opening of Independence Day weekend, troopers investigated three major rollover collisions which resulted in three fatalities and seven individuals transported to the hospital with injuries. All three collisions were caused by drivers losing control after blowing a tire.
Before traveling on roadways this summer:
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Inspect for any damage or bulges in the sidewalls.
- Don’t overload your vehicle (know you vehicle’s Gross Vehicular Weight Rating or GVWR).
- Check your tires tread depth (the legal minimum in Washington is 2/32 of an inch).
- Know the age of your tires.
When in doubt, consult a professional. Most tire installers offer tire and brake safety checks at little or no cost, especially if you purchased your tires at one of their stores.
Several occupants in these recent collisions were not wearing seatbelts. “Seatbelts save lives.” It is just that simple.
Properly wearing a seatbelt (both lap and shoulder strap) increases your chances of surviving and reducing injury during a serious collision. If you choose not to wear a seatbelt, you not only risk your life, but the lives your passengers. Any unrestrained object inside a vehicle, including humans, can cause serious injury to passengers during a collision. The WSP will continue to stop and cite motorists who do not wear seatbelts.
It only takes a few minutes to check your tires before you travel. The health and safety of everyone in your vehicle is worth the time it takes to prepare for a safe drive.
(By WSP Trooper John Bryant)