The breeze or the freeze: air versus air-conditioning
A Few Key Questions Answered

When the rubber hits the road


Tire safety

Photo credit: Truck PR http://www.flickr.com/photos/truckpr/

It always amazes me how simple things can be so complex. The next time you are visiting your retail gasoline station, take a quick look at the air filling station. It is a simple device to keep your tires from going flat, right? No. In fact, it is a critical device that can save your life, save you money, improve gas mileage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The value of vehicle tires is often not fully considered.

According to studies conducted in the U.S. by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on tire related crashes, the leading cause of tire failure is under inflation. This condition often goes unnoticed for long periods of time which can adversely affect tire wear, tire wall integrity, and tire life. Additionally, it can negatively impact your vehicle’s fuel consumption. The impact of under inflation can have devastating results for you and your family should an unfortunate vehicle accident occur.

Recent information on vehicle accidents and tire safety estimate that 30% of vehicles on the road have at least one under inflated tire. Also, a related survey showed that over 10,000 people are injured annually due to poor tire conditions. This information is very concerning because accidents typically involve more than one vehicle. So, the driver who has looked after the safety of their vehicle can be impacted by a driver not paying attention to their tire health.

In addition to paying attention to the air in your tires, you should also inspect them for unusual conditions, like damage and wear. And, be sure to consult your vehicles owner’s manual to get the correct pressure rating for your vehicle and tires.

Here are the top ten safety tips for your car’s tires:

1. Check tire pressures and adjust at least once a month.
2. Inspect tires regularly for abnormal wear or damage.
3. Rotate tires every 6,000 miles or according to owner's manual.
4. Maintain tires in proper balance.
5. Maintain steering and suspension in proper alignment.
6. Never overload a tire.
7. Avoid overheating tires.
8. Replace tires when required.
9. Install tires in matched pairs or complete sets.
10. Select the right tires for your vehicle and driving environment.

I’m hoping you’ll look differently at the air filling station the next time you fuel up because where your rubber meets the road really does matter.

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