For many of us, summer brings trips to family and friends, taking the kids out to parks, museums, and other offerings of the city. However, because of the increased wear and tear on our cars, tire safety is paramount. Although tires are resilient enough to offer us thousands of miles of service, in order to ensure longevity and offer the most protection, one should ensure that they are maintained properly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, proper protection helps to avoid tire breakdowns and potential crashes. In addition, maintaining one’s tires also ensures increased tire life and can even help with getting better fuel economy. Thus, it is recommended that one take time every month to check each tire by following these simple steps:
Tire Safety Checklist
- Check Tire Pressure (recommended twice a month). This includes the spare tire. You wouldn’t want to have a flat, and then find out your spare is of no use!
- Inspect tires to ensure all wear patterns are even. For example, check for foreign objects embedded in the tires, cracks, strange patterns on the treads, and other signs of trauma or wear.
- Ensure all tire valves have valve caps.
- Check the tire pressure regularly, especially before going on an extended trip.
- Maintain proper vehicle loading! Your car’s loading information should be found on the owner’s manual. Ensuring that the car does not go past the maximum recommended load set for the vehicle will place less wear on the tire and help to avoid overloading, which can cause tire breakdown and crashes.
- The above should also apply when towing trailers. Ensure that the weight of the loaded trailer is transferred correctly to the towing vehicle. Once again, overloading and going over the maximum allotted weight can be disastrous on your tires.
Aside from these important tire safety measures, there are also safety tips that you can follow when driving:
- If you see a pothole or object in the road, slow down! When applicable, try to go around these objects while still ensuring proper traffic laws.
- Before you step into your car, do a walk around, looking at each tire in order to ensure there is no foreign objects, such as nails or glass that could harm your tire as you pull out.
- Avoid running over the curb, and take care when parking – such as avoiding hitting the curb when pulling into a designated spot.
Overall, remember to check your tires monthly and check your tire’s pressure at least twice a month. During colder seasons, tires lose air at a much faster rate, and during particularly cold snaps; one should check the tire pressure on a weekly basis. For this reason, it is recommended that a tire pressure gauge be purchased and kept inside your vehicle. These can be purchased at a highly affordable cost and are located at gas stations, auto supply stores, tire dealerships, and many other locations.
The above steps only take minutes to perform, but could potentially save a life!