Tire Safety Week
Did you know that the week of April 23 was Tire Safety Week? Most folks don’t know that. But tire safety is a very important subject.
Most folks think that tires are just round and black and usually don’t pay much attention to them, but tires are your only contact with the road and your driving safety depends largely on the performance of your tires. You can have the best handlng car in the world, but if you are running on unsafe tires you are courting trouble.
Check the Air Pressure in Your Tires
Auto industry professionals agree with the tire companies. You should check your tires at least once a month. What should you check? First check the air pressure in your tires. This is easy to do. Maybe you’ll get your hands dirty, but the alternative can be grim. If your tires are underinflated, they will tend to run hotter than they should. This could lead to a blow-out. The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle is found on a label on the door jamb. Follow this recommendation, and you should optimize the life of your tires.
Check the Tread Depth
Tires with a lot of mileage on them may be running out of tread depth. When your tread wears down you can more easily lose traction in slippery road conditions. Also, a worn tire will heat up and is prone to failure. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head when you put a penny in the tread, you don’t have enough tread depth. At this point, you should strongly consider replacing your tires.
Tires Can Also Wear Out from Age
Several auto manufacturers have recently recommended that you replace any tire that is over six years of age no matter what its tread depth is. In Japan, some companies recommend a longer period – ten years. In any event, common sense prevails. If the sidewalls of your tires are showing small cracks it’s a good idea to take them to your tire dealer and have them inspected.
Air Pressure in Tires Also Can Impact Fuel Economy
Each month, VehicleVoice surveys members to determine what they have done to improve their fuel economy. With gas prices skyrocketing, we expected to see a high percentage of panel members checking their tire pressure to maximize fuel economy. Wrong. Based on the results from our Fuel Price Impact Survey, not enough of you check air pressure. So, for economy’s sake – and safety’s sake – check your air pressure and tread depth monthly.
Resources for Tire Safety Information
Do you know the correct PSI for your vehicle’s tires? CLICK HERE to take a quick quiz to help you determine how much you know about tire maintenance and safety.
The “What’s Your PSI?” campaign is designed to challenge consumers to learn the correct tire pressure (pounds per square inch or PSI) for their vehicle’s tires, help them to maintain proper pressure — and ultimately help everyone avoid tire failure and crashes.
In addition to making road travel safer, inflating tires to the correct PSI has other benefits as well. Motorists who “know their PSI” and maintain it can help to optimize fuel economy and tire life, saving dollars and protecting our environment in the process.
National Tire Safety Week (April 23– 29, 2006)
Look for NHTSA’s “What’s Your PSI?” and the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s (RMA) “Be Tire Smart, Play Your PART” campaign materials at tire safety partner locations throughout the country.
NHTSA and RMA along with the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA), the American Automobile Association (AAA), and American Car Care Centers (ACCC) are dedicated to helping motorists learn how important proper tire care is to vehicle safety.
Tire Safety – Everything Rides on It (checklist)
This is a checklist provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency. A useful source of information on maintaining safe tires.
An excellent site sponsored by Bridgestone Firestone provides comprehensive information on how to keep your tires safe. Check out Tire Safety.com