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Proper tire pressure makes for safer driving

Staying safe on the road extends beyond being a conscientious driver behind the wheel. There are many things that go into maintaining your vehicle and keeping it in the best condition for safe driving. Keeping your tires properly inflated at the their optimum pressure is one way to decrease risk of tire failure and other problems that can result in a car accident.

Contrary to popular belief, the maximum PSI (pound of pressure per square inch) listed on the sidewall of your tire is not necessarily the best pressure to inflate it to. This number actually refers to the maximum cold pressure that the tire is rated for. Cold pressure is indicated because it is ideal to fill your tires when they are cold. Inflating your tires to the maximum PSI listed will change how they handle -- a vehicle with tires which are overinflated is at greater risk of fishtailing the back end in a sharp turn, for instance. Over inflated tires are also more likely to exhibit balding at the very center of the tire tread, which increases the risk of an unexpected blowout while driving.

The optimum pressure for your tires can usually be located in your owner's manual or on a sticker that is usually placed in the doorjamb, inside the gas tank door or on the trunk lid. Usually, ideal tire pressure is somewhere between 30 and 35 PSI. Keeping the tires properly inflated not only improves your fuel economy, but also improves handling, which may make the difference between a close call and a costly car accident.

Even when following best driving practices and properly maintaining your vehicle, car accidents can happen. If you are involved in a car accident of any kind, the guidance of a qualified, experienced legal professional can help protect your rights and guide you through the process of recovering from the accident to the fullest.

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