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.