You’ve probably heard it a hundred times. Proper tire maintenance is essential for safe driving. Poor tread or low air pressure can do more than damage your tire, cause a flat, or cause a blowout. It can result in a collision. But is it really all as important as it’s made out to be?
The obvious answer is YES, it’s very important. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, defective or slick tires contributed to more than 80 of the fatal crashes in Texas in 2016. Damaged tires, or ones that are not properly inflated, are leading causes to a blowout that can cause a serious car accident.
Here are a few ways to check your tires and keep you and your car safe on the road.
Monitor tire pressure
Every vehicle has a different requirement for tire pressure, but most range between 30 and 35 psi. This can be found on the inside of your door or in the owner’s manual to your car.
Newer cars are equipped with helpful tire sensors that monitor pressure. However, you do not want to depend on these all the time. It is still good practice to manually check tire pressure, in case the sensors stop working properly. If you know you will be driving on slick roads, check the pressure manually before you drive.
Tire tread trick
Just like the tire pressure, the tread on tires can vary. There are different types of tires for a variety of road conditions and tires are not the same for cars versus heavy trucks. The purpose of good tread is for any liquid on the road to pass through the tread, so your car still has good traction.
Try this simple test to see if your tread is good. Take the penny and put it with Lincoln’s head down in the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced.
Some maintenance should be done regularly at your local auto shop. Wheel rotations should be done every 5,000-7,000 miles to help the tires wear evenly and last longer. Alignments and balancing also should be done if the car is pulling slightly to one side while driving or feels to be driving roughly on a smooth, straight road.
For more than 60 years, the team at Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, a body shop in Austin, has repaired vehicles every year that were damaged because of bad tires. Take the time and money to maintain safe tires. If you are involved in a wreck, use our quick and easy Smartphone Estimating Tool to get a free estimate. Our team will guide you through for a hassle-free repair process.
Getting a driver’s license for the first time is an exciting milestone in a teen’s life. It signifies many things, including responsibility. Parents and driving instructors emphasize safe driving, because a teen has less experience behind the wheel. This makes choosing safe vehicle for your teen driver even more important.
Parents can rest easier knowing their teens are driving a car that will keep them safe during a collision. The majority of teens drive used cars for their first vehicles. Regardless of year, make, or model, there are other safety factors to consider.
Research vehicles before choosing
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases safety ratings on vehicles that can be helpful to find the right model of vehicle for a new driver. When considering vehicles, look up their safety ratings and reliability.
A teen may have an idea of what they would like to drive. The reality is that teens have probably not yet considered safety. For instance, a first-time driver may feel more comfortable driving a smaller car, but vehicles that are heavier can take a hit better than smaller vehicles in an accident.
Parents should also consider vehicles with less horsepower if they think their driver may be tempted with speed. Electronic stability control will help the new driver have greater control if they lose control of a car.
When you think you have found a car for your teen driver, check to see if any recalls have been issued. If so, find out if the recall repairs have been made.
Finding a local auto body shop
Once the search for a safe and reliable car is over, it’s a good time to research body shops, and look for ones that offer certified collision repair. Most people do not get in accidents regularly and have probably not thought about finding a local collision repair shop in case an accident should happen. Having a plan can help you and your teen be prepared.
Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, has helped parents and teens with collision repairs for more than 60 years. Our goal is to make the process hassle-free. Now it’s easier than ever to get the free estimate using the Smartphone Estimating Tool.