Tire Safety: 10 Tips To Avoid Blowouts On The Road
As a motorist, you should always be mindful of the condition of your tires. As any experienced driver can tell you, blowouts are one of the most dangerous hazards on the highway. And as a dealership that cares about the safety of our customers, we consider it our responsibility to provide you with the information necessary for proper tire care. Here are 10 tips to help avoid blowouts on the road:
Understanding Tire Blowouts
Before diving into our top tips for avoiding blowouts on the road, it’s essential to understand what a tire blowout is and what causes them. A tire blowout occurs when there is a rapid loss of air pressure in the tire, causing it to rupture or deflate suddenly. This can lead to a loss of control over the vehicle and, in some cases, result in a severe accident.
Common Causes of Tire Blowouts
Several factors can contribute to a tire blowout, including:
- Overloading the vehicle
- Underinflated or overinflated tires
- Punctures from sharp objects
- Damaged or worn-out tires
- Extreme heat or temperature fluctuations
With this understanding, let’s now explore ten tips to help you avoid blowouts on the road.
Tip 1: Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Checking and maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial in preventing blowouts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), underinflated tires are three times more likely to cause a serious accident than properly inflated tires. To maintain optimal tire pressure:
- Check tire pressure monthly using a reliable gauge
- Inflate tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations found in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door jamb
- Adjust tire pressure seasonally, as temperature fluctuations can affect tire pressure levels
Tip 2: Regularly Inspect Tires For Damage
Visually inspect your tires regularly for signs of damage, such as cracks, cuts, or bulges. These can indicate a weak spot in the tire, increasing the risk of a blowout. If you notice any damage, have the tire inspected by a professional and replaced if necessary. The NHTSA also recommends replacing tires once they reach six years old, regardless of their condition.
Tip 3: Rotate Your Tires
Rotating your tires regularly ensures even wear and prolongs their lifespan. Most manufacturers recommend rotating tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, but consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle.
Tip 4: Balance And Align Your Tires
Properly balanced and aligned tires promote even wear and reduce the risk of blowouts. Unbalanced tires can cause vibrations that lead to uneven wear, while misaligned tires can result in uneven tread wear and decreased handling capabilities. Have your tires balanced and aligned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
Tip 5: Avoid Overloading Your Vehicle
Overloading your vehicle puts excessive pressure on your tires, increasing the risk of a blowout. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended load capacity, which can be found in your owner’s manual. You should also keep an eye on the tire pressure levels when loading your vehicle.
Tip 6: Watch For Road Hazards
Sharp objects, such as nails or glass, can puncture your tires and cause a blowout. You can encounter this at most unexpected moments, so be sure to watch out for road hazards and drive over them as cautiously as possible. If you spot an object on the road that could cause damage, slow down and change lanes if necessary.
Tip 7: Replace Worn-Out Tires
Tires have a limited lifespan, and driving on worn-out tires increases the risk of a blowout. To determine if it’s time to replace your tires, perform the “penny test” by inserting a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of his head, your tire tread is too low and should be replaced.
Tip 8: Choose The Right Tires For Your Vehicle
Using the correct type and size of tire for your vehicle is crucial in ensuring optimal performance and preventing blowouts. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for tire size, type, and load capacity. Any deviation from these instructions can reduce the safety of your tires and increase the risk of a blowout. The knowledgeable tire professionals at your local tire shop can help you to choose the right tires for your vehicle if you’re unsure.
Tip 9: Monitor Tire Temperature
Extreme heat can cause tires to deteriorate faster and increase the risk of a blowout. Check your tire temperature regularly, especially during hot weather or long trips. As summer approaches, avoid driving on hot roads for long periods of time. If you notice your tires are excessively hot, pull over and let them cool down before continuing your journey.
Tip 10: Invest In Quality Tires
High-quality tires are designed to provide better performance, durability, and safety features than cheaper alternatives. While they may cost more upfront, investing in quality tires can save you money in the long run by reducing the risk of blowouts and other tire-related issues. The good thing is that there are plenty of quality tire manufacturers
and brands to choose from, so you can find tires that fit your budget.
Visit Eastern Shore Toyota To Shop For Tires And Service Your Car
By following these ten essential tips, you can avoid blowouts on the road and ensure a safer driving experience for you and your passengers. Remember that proper tire maintenance, regular inspections, and investing in quality tires are crucial in preventing tire blowouts and keeping your vehicle in top shape.
Is it time for new tires or a tire inspection? Visit Eastern Shore Toyota for all your tire needs! We offer a wide selection of tires from leading brands, as well as expert tire services such as wheel balancing and alignment. Contact us today to learn more about our tire services.