SHOP for TIRES
Tire Safety Practices to Keep You Safe
Have you ever thought about how important your tires are for keeping you safe? Bald tires drastically increase your stopping distance, especially in bad weather. Overinflated or underinflated tires can impact your vehicle's handling. And old tires are more prone to dangerous blowouts.
So, how can you keep you and your family safe? Follow these tire safety practices.
Tread depth refers to how much tread remains on a tire. You calculate it by measuring the distance from the bottom of the tread void to the top of the tread block.
As tires wear and the tread depth is reduced, your vehicle's traction, stopping distance, and handling are all affected. Those effects are even worse on wet or slippery surfaces, so you should replace your tires as soon as you notice the tread is low.
How can you tell?
You should replace your tires when you have 2/32” of tread left. To check how much tread you have left, stick a penny upside down in your tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires. If you stick a quarter upside down in your tread and see the top of Washington's head, your tread has less than 4/32” of tread left and you should start considering replacing your tires.
Did you know old tires can be hazardous, even if they still have plenty of tread left? That's because the rubber in tires breaks down and becomes brittle over time, leading to an increased risk of blowouts. You should replace your tires if they are more than 6 years old, even if you haven't driven on them very much.
Not sure how old your tires are? You can determine the age of a tire by the DOT number stamped on the sidewall of every tire produced for street use.
Tire Pressure and Load Capacity
Underinflated and overinflated tires pose an increased risk of failure compared to properly inflated tires. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month and make sure it matches your vehicle's recommended PSI. You can find that information on the driver's side door jamb or your owner's manual.
Additionally, you need to mind the load capacity of your tires. You may not have thought about it before, but your tires are rated to handle a maximum load. If you fill your vehicle with a bunch of heavy cargo, you could increase your vehicle's weight beyond what the tires were designed to handle, increasing the risk of a blowout.
Routine Tire Maintenance
To make sure your tires stay in the best shape and decrease your chances of experiencing a blowout, you should perform this regular tire maintenance:
- Check your air pressure every month and set it to the recommended PSI.
- Inspect your tires monthly to check the tread and look for any damage or conditions that could interfere with safety.
- Rotate your tires every 6,000-8,000 miles to prolong tread life and maximize their handling, traction, and stopping capabilities.