Your tires are an important part of your vehicle's overall safety. Your entire vehicle and the passengers inside are essentially being carried by the tires, and proper tire maintenance will help you prevent getting involved in auto accidents and from having blowouts on the road. By following a few checks once a month, you can ensure your tires are kept as safe as possible.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, your tire safety checklist should include:
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month and before a road trip
- Check the tire pressure of the spare tire once a month and before a road trip
- Inspect tires for uneven wear, cracks, objects penetrating the tire, missing valve caps and any other signs of damage
- Avoid overloading your vehicle with too much weight – your owner's manual should tell you the maximum recommended load
- Slow down if you cannot avoid a pothole or object in the road
- Avoid running over or bumping into curbs
For instructions for checking the tire pressure and tire tread, please see the NHTSA how-to page.
These checks not only help you avoid blowouts and accidents; according to the NHTSA, performing the simple steps above can improve your vehicle's fuel economy, improve handling and extend the life of your tires. Replace your tires once the tread has become too worn or you see other signs of damage.