There used to be a tv ad man here in Orlando who used to say "tires ain’t pretty." But they are pretty important when it comes to preventing auto accidents. It’s why for the past 7 years tire manufacturers and retailers have used this week to promote tire safety and the importance of having the correct tire inflation.
This year they are distributing over 5 million brochures titled – "Be Tire Smart, Play your PART", with PART meaning pressure, alignment, rotation and tread.
According the National Highway Traffice Safety Commission (NHTSA), "underinflated tires and overloaded vehicles are the leading causes of tire failure." Of course tire failure can be tragedy when travelling down the interstate at 70 miles per hour.
The tire retailer Discount Tire has safety tips that everyone should follow, and not just before you go on a long trip, but on a monthly basis.
1. Get Pressure Right Low tire pressure decreases fuel economy. Tires may lose up to 1 psi per month. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door, fuel door or in the owner’s manual. For accurate pressure, check tires when cool and don’t forget the spare. Custom tires and wheels may change standard air pressure requirements, so if you customize have a pro check them out before you go.
2. Don’t Overload Vehicle Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.
3. Rotate Before You Go Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improve road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles have longer life and help maximize your tire investment. It makes sense to get a tire inspection when you rotate.
4. Straighten Up Proper tire alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a ride that is smooth, comfortable and free of pulling or vibration. Proper alignment helps tires wear evenly and last longer.
5. Bald Isn’t Beautiful Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip the road. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low areas or unusually smooth areas that can increase the risk of road accidents.