Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Tire Safety

If you were ever driving down the road and had a blowout, you know the immediate struggle to control the car and bring it to the side of the road. The safety of a car and its passengers depends on the condition of the rubber that actually hits the road. Understanding components of tire safety may help you avoid an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 9 percent of cars on the roads today are driving on at least one bald tire. Bald tires provide little traction and are prone to giving out. Properly maintained tires improve gas mileage and help you steer, stop and travel safely during inclement weather.

With the approach of the winter driving season, taking care of your car is important, including the tires. Consider these points about tire safety:

  • Tire pressure recommendations are found on placards usually inside your car door or glove box. Check the owners manual if placards are missing. Proper tire pressure maintains the ability of the tire to perform under conditions, and loads, for which it was designed. Carry a tire gauge in the glove box and check tire pressure about once a month.
  • Make sure you have the right size and type of tire for your vehicle. High performance, after-market tires may not provide the functionality you need.
  • Check tread wear indicators on your tire. When indicators are level with the outside tread, your tires are worn. Alternatively, insert a penny, facing you, in the tire tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head on the penny, replacement is needed.
  • Rotate tires regularly, keep your vehicle aligned and ensure replacement tires are high quality.

Poorly maintained tires lead to a poor driving experience and accidents. If injured in an accident because of any mechanical defect, seek experienced legal advice.

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