Tread Lightly

tirePile

The tires are the only thing between the vehicle and the road. When they are properly inflated and in good condition, the handling, stability, and safety of the vehicle will be maximized. Conversely, when the tires are under-inflated, worn out, or damaged, all of the safety systems on the vehicle cannot overcome the loss of control that comes with a blow-out or hydroplaning situation.
Air pressure in a tire is like oil in an engine; when it is low, the resulting internal damage is unseen until it is too late. Tires naturally lose 1-2 psi per month, so ongoing neglect will eventually result in a tire that cannot support the weight of the vehicle and the occupants. When this happens, the resulting blow-out can result in the loss of control and an accident.

It is also important to have the tires rotated on the vehicle every 5-7,000 miles. Today’s front-wheel-drive vehicles cause the steer tires to wear at a much faster rate than the tires on the rear axle. By the front tires being rotated to the back and the back tires to the front, drivers can achieve even treadwear on all four tires and increase the mileage and performance. Failing to rotate the tires often results in the front tires wearing out faster while the rear tires develop irregular treadwear patterns that cause vibrations. 

Finally, drivers should perform a visual inspection of their tires on a regular basis, especially after hitting a pothole, curb, or any type of road debris. Bulges, cuts, and other visible damage weaken the internal components of the tire, which can lead to a blow-out. Regular visual inspections will often identify any potential problems before they result in an accident.