Most Nigerian drivers are risking their lives with over-inflated tires. Are you one of them?

03/26/2019

Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Tire burst related accidents are increasingly common and cost lives of many Nigerians. But few know over-inflated tires are among the main culprits. And even fewer know they are driving on ones.

How well do you trust your vulcanizer and his tire pressure recommendation for your car? In Nigeria, one major cause of road accidents is the sudden burst-tires syndrome, which many times has caused tragic fatalities. Different types of tires react diferently to Nigerian roads, but tire pressure is a factor that affects all tires.

A-tire

Your tires must be both the correct size and at the correct pressure

Are you aware that your tires have recommended air pressure recorded in pci, which has been mandated by the car manufacturer to prevent excess air pressure? Are you also aware that many vulcanizers in the country constantly over pump your tires making it likely to explode under the enormous extra pressure?

The tragic tire pressure related accident

In April 2016, there were memorable fatal auto crashes caused by burst tires, which claimed the lives of many including a federal Minister and his family, the seven Doctors from Ekiti, and the deaths of students from Kano along with their driver.

Only one doctor survived to tell the story. The others were not so lucky and lost their lives in the area of Kaduna State.

Tire-and-rim-on-road

Tires can react to atmospheric heat, friction, age and pressure

It is hard to imagine a minister could travel with expired tires which are believed to be the main cause of tire burst incidents. So what has really happened? 

The recent story of a driver who has his eyes opened!

Recently, a car owner shared a story about how his vulcanizer could have ruined his life! Recalling the conversation he had with his vulcanizer, the owner of the car had inquired what the air-pressure of the tires on his car should be, as he was about to embark on a long journey. The vulcanizer confidently told him 50 pci. The owner who trusted his vulcanizer, believing the latter knew the job, gave him the go ahead to inflate all the tires to 50.

Having completed his journey of several hundred kilometers, the car owner was later discussing with a friend who lived in the US and was visiting Nigeria, and the talk got around to tires. His US based friend explained to him that in Nigeria, the norm was to put too much pressure in our tires, and that each car comes with recommended tire size and pressure clearly written on it by the manufacturer.

Vulcanizer-working-in-front-of-shop

Nigerian vulcanizers may not always know the right pressure for your vehicle

The car owner begged the friend to show him where it was, which he did. It is usually inscribed by the driver’s door. The owner was dumbfounded because he never knew such a thing existed. He became shocked on examination of the recommended pressure for his tires. It was 32, yet he had travelled with a pressure of 50 which was recommended by his vulcanizer!

Our owner then was taken on a semi tour around the garage of his friend who owned several vehicles, including an SUV and a Toyota Sienna. Even these heavier cars had air pressure recommendations of between 32 and 40. Not one car was up to 50 pci. This was a shocking eye opener for the car owner.

Our take

Simple mistakes like this have led to the fatalities of many people on the road. Many vulcanizers are not really professional in their duties, and it's your job to scrutinize the work they do for you as the car driver or owner. 

Take the time to learn the manufacturer recommended tire pressure for your vehicle or car, and then insist that the vulcanizer adheres strictly to it. It could save your life and those of the people traveling with you.

>>> Keep in touch with important maintenance and safety advice, latest car prices, and cars for sale at naijauto.com 

Joshua-Philip Okeafor
Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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