Tires are the only parts of your car directly in contact with the road. Tires should provide durability and traction during wet and dry weather conditions. In addition, tires should provide a comfortable ride by absorbing shocks from the various abnormalities of the road. To help make your vacation a fun and safe experience, add the following tire safety tips to your checklist.
1. Just like wearing proper shoes, drivers should use proper tires. Your tires should be:
a) The right size tires for your vehicle
b) Suitable for your driving conditions
c) Changed if they are damaged, or bald
Tires should be changed before the tire wear indicators are revealed. According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 139, tires should to be changed if the tread depth is less than 2/32 inch in height. You can check the tread depth with a penny. Put a penny into the tire tread. If you cannot see Abraham Lincoln’s head on the penny, the tire tread depth meets the tire tread-depth requirement.
2. Check your tires regularly.
a) Check the air pressure with an air gauge.
Note: The pressure on the side of the tire does not indicate the pressure for your particular vehicle. It is the maximum pressure for the tire. Information about your tires can be found on the car-door side placard.
b) Check tire appearance for scars, cuts, bulges, or any type of abnormality.
3. Signs of tire failure could be vibration, strange handling, or abnormal noises coming from the tire. If any of these signs occur, check your tires immediately.
Do not trust that your tires will never fail under any circumstances. For your safety and others, check your tires regularly.