With the summer in full swing and many heading out to road-trips and vacations, regular tire maintenance checks has become more important than ever.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association highlighted the importance of tire safety in the National Tire Safety Week 2017.
Accidents caused due to tire problems are quite common. It is the responsibility of all vehicle owners to ensure that their cars are well maintained on a regular basis. Ensuring that tires are maintained and regularly checked and repaired or replaced, will help in not only reduce the number of accidents caused due to malfunctioning tires, but also help in keeping the roads safer.
Tire safety checklist
Every driver should check their tires at least once a month. Moreover, if a long road trip is planned, one should conduct a thorough inspection to ensure that everything is in place. The following checklist can help in ensuring tire safety every time one heads out.
Tire pressure – Too much or too little pressure in the tires can cause a number of problems that can lead to accidents. It is usually recommended to check the pressure with a pressure gauge before starting a trip, ideally when the tires are cold. Moreover, in summers the air in the tires tends to expand. Therefore it is recommended to keep the pressure a little low to avoid a blow-out.
Wear and tear – While some amount of wear and tear is normal, checking the tire regularly for any irregular or uneven wear and tear is important. One should check for bulges, cracks in the tread or bald patches all over all the tires.
Tread depth – The tread depth of the tire is essential for quick manoeuvres and for sudden stopping. Over time, the tread depth can reduce and could indicate that the tire needs replacement. You can check the tread depth by trying the penny test. One should insert a penny (Lincoln’s head pointing downwards) in any tread area of the tire that appears to be worn out. If the top of President Lincoln’s head on the coin can be seen, it time to replace the tread.
Check for damaging objects – Small things on roads such as nails, glass pieces, screws can cut, scrape and damage tires. If any such damage can be seen, the tires should be replaced.
Valve caps – Valve caps protect the valves and, in turn, the tires from any damage from rocks and debris. One should check if the valve caps on the tires are in place and inspect them for any cracks.
Vehicle overload – it important to ensure that one does not overload the vehicle. Too much weight in the car can increase the damage of the tires. The tires will case more friction on the road and lead to tire burns and blow outs.
Towing – Those towing trailers should ensure that the weight of the trailer, its load as well the car is in line with the maximum weight the vehicles tires can take.
Apart from these important points, vehicle owners should avoid speeding, avoid pot holes and running over curbs while parking. These can increase tire damage and seriously compromise safety.