Under-inflated tires can lead to serious consequences. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of a serious crash during hot weather can be heightened by tires that are worn out, under-inflated or too old. To reduce this risk, the NHTSA has urged motorists to have their tires, including their spare, checked before taking a trip… even if it is a trip around the block.
NHTSA research shows that hot weather – and overloaded vehicles – can add significant stress to a tire, especially if it is not properly inflated. Old tires also are subject to greater stress, which increases the likelihood of catastrophic failure. The NHTSA points out that tire safety is a concern for every vehicle, but notes that it is especially important in vehicles that are prone to roll over if there is a blow-out. Specifically, SUVs and pickups are more likely to roll over due to their high center of gravity.
Drivers can check their tire inflation with an inexpensive gauge, using the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended pressures, which are found on the driver’s side door pillar or in the owner’s manual. The age of a tire can be by checking the identification number on the sidewall that begins with the letters “DOT”. The last four digits represent the week and year the tire was manufactured. Some tire and vehicle manufacturers have issued recommendations for replacing tires that range from six to ten years of age.
With the precious cargo of friends and loved ones, it is important to insure that your vehicle is the safest it can possibly be.
For more information on proper tire care, along with NHTSA’s tire rating guide, visit www.safercar.gov.