Tire Blowouts and Prevention

Warmer weather means for warmer roads, and many in the Midwest use winter tires. It is important to make sure you have either all-season or summer tires installed by the time the weather starts to heat up as winter tires get heavy wear in the summer with their deep grooves and less dense rubber. Other things you need to look out for to make sure your tires are road-safe include;

Tread: Take a penny and place it Lincoln side upside-down into your tire’s tread. As long as the tread covers Lincoln’s head, you have at least 2/32 of tread remaining, which is the minimum legally required tread in most states, and a sign you need to immediately replace your tires for safety. In winter conditions it is suggested you have at least 6/32 of tread to maintain safe grip on the roads.

Tire Pressure: It is important to maintain appropriate tire pressure as too much pressure takes away traction and adds to braking time, and too little pressure will lead to heavy wear and possible tire overheating. Keep in mind that tire pressure will change when you go from winter cold to warm weather, so it is important to check your tires even if they don’t leak air.

Be aware when your tires get close to the mileage they are rated for, and let a professional check your tires for signs they need to be replaced.  However, flat tires and blowouts aren’t 100% preventable, so if you do get a blowout, what do you do?

-          Don’t immediately brake or steer away from the blowout, this can cause you to lose control.

-          Gently ease onto the accelerator to maintain speed, and keep the wheel straight.

-          Slowly ease off the accelerator and begin gently braking to pull off the side of the road.

Safe driving also means having a safe car, and tire care is just one of several things you need to commit to for your car to be road-safe. Make sure your car is inspected yearly or more frequently, depending on the mileage and road wear your car receives.

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