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Keeping Safe on the Road – How Good are Your Tires?

Posted on August 5, 2011

It might seem like there’s a special, designated week for just about everything under the sun, but as a driver, this is one of those special awareness weeks that should be important to you. Today, June 8, 2011, we’re in the middle of National Tire Safety Week. The Rubber Manufacturers Association found out in a survey that 85 percent of drivers don’t know the correct amount to inflate their tires, and just 20 percent of drivers check the pressure in their tires each month. Those are alarming statistics, since proper tire inflation can reduce risks to your safety. So here are a few questions to ask yourself as you check on the condition of your tires:

1. How is my tire pressure? You should check your tire pressure once a month, and also before you go on a long trip, and after you come back. You can find the recommended tire pressure for your car in your owner’s manual. The key here is to inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. You don’t want to inflate to the maximum pressure that’s shown on the tire’s sidewall. Not only is a properly inflated tire safer to drive, but it will give you fuel economy (you will use less gas) than driving around on tires that are under-inflated.

2.  Have I rotated my tires? Check with your owner’s manual to find recommendations on how often you should rotate your tires. This could vary depending on the type of vehicle you have—front wheel drive versus rear wheel drive—and other factors.

3.  How deep are the treads in my tires? For tires to perform with greater safety, they need good tread depth. More tread depth gives you improved stopping power, meaning that it takes less distance to stop on slick roads than tires with shallower tread depths. New recommendations suggest that your tire tread depth should be deeper than the old recommendations that were considered adequate. We used to be told to check by sticking a penny in the tread, with Lincoln’s head down, and see if any part of his head is covered by the depth. The new recommendation suggests trying this with a quarter, using Washington’s head for a gauge.

4.  Are my wheels aligned? If you’ve ever gone shopping at a grocery store and tried to use a shopping cart with bad wheels, you know how much harder it is to steer it. Now think about that when considering the tires on your car. If your tires are not aligned, it makes the tires wear unevenly, and also makes it harder to steer. Take your car to an auto shop, and have a professional look at your tire alignment.

5.  Are my best tires on the back wheels? It’s a better idea to buy a set of four tires and change them all at the same time, but if you have two older and two newer tires, it’s best to put the newer tires in the rear. This might not seem correct, since you’re obviously steering with the front tires, but having more tread depth allows your tires to grab the road and move better through water on the road surface. If you have tires with better tread on the back wheels, you reduce your risk of hydroplaning or fishtailing on wet roads. You will have an easier time dealing with more effort to steer the front of your car than trying to correct for a situation in which the rear of your car is losing traction because of bad tires.

Perform those checks on your tires, and drive safely.

If you are in an accident, you need support. The Accident Attorneys’ Group provides their clients the expert legal help to win results. You can feel confident that the car accident lawyer who represents you knows your concerns, and the issues you face with crowded roads, freeways, and highways that can lead to automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, and truck accidents. The car accident lawyer knows these issues from the inside and out—as a legal professional and as a citizen who shares the road and lives in the communities.

Accident Attorneys’ Group serves clients in many locations across the United States, and has a car accident lawyer to represent you in San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, San Fernando Valley, Ontario, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Las Vegas. Call us for a free consultation for your case at 877-857-7720

 

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