The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging all motorists to check their tires as part of National Tire Safety Week. Routine tire maintenance, replacing tires when needed due to wear and aging, and purchasing the right tires can help prevent many crashes caused by tire failure. Tire maintenance alone can extend the average life of a tire by 4,700 miles. The agency offers the following TireWise safety tips to help protect drivers and their wallets:
- Tire Maintenance – making sure your tires are inflated to the proper tire pressure is the most important maintenance step you can take to affect your tire’s safety, durability and impact on fuel consumption. Additional routine maintenance, including rotation, balance and alignment, can also help your tires last longer and save you money. Checking your tire’s tread monthly will help you know when your tires are no longer safe to use. If the treadwear indicators are showing or if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head on a penny when you place it in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you, it is time to replace your tires.
- Tire Aging – over time the rubber and other components in a tire change due to service, storage and environmental conditions. Tires can deteriorate even when not used frequently (for example passenger vans or collectors vehicles) or at all (spare tires) and warmer weather can contribute to tire aging. While tire aging cannot be detected simply by looking at your tires, knowing the age of your tire and conducting monthly maintenance inspections can help you determine when it is time to replace tires.
- Tire Buying – once you’ve decided it’s time to replace your tires, the first step is making sure the new tires you buy are right for you, your vehicle, and the environment you are driving in. Before making a purchase, research the recommended tire size, type, and rating and also check the manufacture date of the tires you are buying.
- Tire Registration and Recalls – manufacturers rely on tire registration information to alert you in the event of a recall affecting your tire. Make sure your new tires are registered with the manufacturer, sign-up with NHTSA to receive tire recall alert notifications, and don’t wait to get replacement tires when yours have been recalled.
For more information about these tire safety and maintenance tips, visit www.safercar.gov/Tire