Keep tires road-worthy for safer driving – Hawaii Cars

Keep tires road-worthy for safer driving

Making driving safer can come down to ensuring that the vehicle is in good working order — starting from the ground up.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that an average of 200 people die each year in tire-related crashes. In 2016, 733 people across the United States lost their lives in accidents in which tire malfunction was a contributing factor. Roughly 70 percent of single vehicle accidents are tire-related. Taking tire maintenance seriously can greatly reduce the chances of blowouts, accidents and fatalities.

Maintain the right pressure
Caring for tires not only improves safety, but also it extends the life of the tires, saving drivers money as a result. Michelin Tires says that simply checking the tires’ inflation pressure can make a significant difference in how long tires last. For example, a tire that is consistently 20 percent under-inflated may see its life expectancy reduced by 20 percent.
Tires that are not properly inflated also can have a high rolling resistance. In such instance, the engine must expend more effort to move the vehicle — thus eating up fuel.
Pressure should be checked at ambient temperature before driving, states AAA. The recommended inflation pressure can be found in the drivers manual or on the tire.

Check tire tread
Tires rely on good tread depth to maintain traction and shed water during wet conditions. AAA recommends checking tread with a visual inspection and with the “quarter test.” Insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of Washington’s head facing down. If the top of his head is not visible, the tires have at least 4⁄32” of tread and are acceptable for continued use. If the top of Washington’s head shows, tires need to be replaced.

Learn about tire aging
Check the owner’s manual for specific recommendations concerning replacing the spare tire for the vehicle. Some manufacturers state after six years, while others say 10 years is the maximum service life for tires. While most tire centers will use newly manufactured tires when replacing tires, you can double check the age of any tire by looking at the sidewall for the tire identification number (TIN), offers NHTSA. The last four digits are the week and year of manufacture.

Keep up on maintenance
Wheel alignment, tire rotation and tire balancing are all key to minimizing wear and extending the life and safety of tires. Each vehicle has specific recommendations, and drivers should consult their manuals to find those specifics.

Tire function is an important part of maintaining vehicle safety and performance.