Saturday January 24th, 2015

In the wake of the Deflategate revelations, many observers have weighed in with thoughtful and not-at-all overwrought comments. A statement from the National Transportation Safety Board, the government agency charged with investigating and preventing accidents, is likely to be the most helpful Deflategate-related observation yet.

The ever-thorough NTSB used the incident to remind drivers – be they NFL officials or not – to always check their tires for proper air pressure. According to the agency, tire-inflation issues lead to almost 11,000 automobile accidents each year.

From the agency's blog post:

"According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers in the United States put more than 2.9 billion miles on their tires annually. And, there are nearly 11,000 tire-related crashes that claim nearly 200 lives each year. Many of these crashes can be prevented through proper tire maintenance, which, you guessed it, includes proper tire inflation!

The NTSB takes no position on football inflation issues. Tire maintenance is another matter.

So, like the NFL officials who will be taking extra care to ensure that those Super Bowl footballs are in perfect condition Sunday, always make sure that you regularly inspect your tires for wear and defects and of course, ensure that they are properly inflated!"

While many of us will disagree on Deflategate and on the outcome of the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, we can all agree on the importance of year-round safety on America's roadways.

 
- Christopher Woody

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