While the number of road accidents in Australia has been in decline for several decades, the last couple of years have seen accident rates increase.
The latest available data from 2019 shows there were 1195 accidents in 2019, a 5.9% increase on the year before.
The leading cause of accidents was excess speed, followed by drink driving and fatigue. But poor vehicle maintenance, specifically, poorly maintained brakes and tyres, is also a major cause of accidents.
Most people take tyres for granted, but they are one of the most important safety aspects of your vehicle.
Poorly maintained tyres can affect the handling, braking and fuel economy of your car. So tyre pressures and tread depths must be checked regularly.
But along with your tyres, you should also get your wheel alignment checked.
Because misaligned wheels can cause a wide range of tyre and suspension related issues that can impact safety.
Below we explore why a wheel alignment is important for car safety.
Safety issues caused by wheel alignment include:
1. Uneven tyre wear
Improperly aligned wheels can increase tyre wear along the inside edge. Tyres are designed to wear evenly across the tread surface, so excess wear in any area can dramatically affect handling and safety.
Wear on the inside edge can also be difficult to detect because most people measure tread depth across the middle of the tyre.
2. Increased risk of a blowout
Uneven tyre wear also increases friction across the tread surface which causes heat build-up. As the tyre warms the air inside begins to expand.
At very high speeds this expansion can be so great that the tyre explodes.
This is a very dangerous situation that can be easily avoided by checking wheel alignment.
3. Handling and stability issues
Misaligned wheels can also cause handling and stability issues at low speeds.
Symptoms include the car drifting to one side when driving in a straight line, the steering wheel not returning to dead centre, crooked or vibrating steering at medium to high speeds and constant squealing from the tyres.
4. Increased stress on suspension components
Improperly aligned wheels also increase stress on steering and suspension components.
This can affect handling at low and high speeds and cause components to break prematurely.
This is not only dangerous but can increase the cost of maintaining your vehicle significantly.
5. Impede braking performance
Tyres that do not have consistent contact with the road surface can also impede braking performance.
This can cause the car to skid more easily, especially under heavy braking, significantly increase braking distances and cause the car to pull to one side under braking.
Get your wheel alignment checked today
As you can see wheel alignment is an important factor in vehicle safety. And because your wheels can become misaligned at any time you should aim to get your car checked at least once a year.
At GC Suspension we are specialists at checking wheel alignment for all makes of car.
Most wheel alignment checks can be completed within an hour so you won’t have to wait around too long.
Our workshop is conveniently located in Southport which is easily accessible from Parkwood, Ashmore, Benowa, and Molendinar.
Simply contact us by calling 07 5532 3772 and book to have your car or 4WD tyres and wheel alignment checked, or drop in and see the team at 72 Ferry Road on the Gold Coast for all your steering, suspension, brake and car mechanic needs.
With the combined industry experience of over 50 years, you can be confident we will provide the best service and advice for all your vehicle needs.
Make sure your car or 4WD is safe by booking a full under car inspection by our professional experienced team of mechanics. Don’t take short cuts with yours and your families safety.