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Are Your Tires Safe To Drive On?

flat tire
David McNew/Getty Images

A tragic accident yesterday has left us with a lot of questions. After we get past the  initial shock and sorrow we all ask, “could this have been prevented”? We will never know the answer to this question with any certainty. What we can do is learn from one tragedy in hopes of preventing another.

According to police reports this accident began when a tire one of the vehicles failed. We don’t know if an object in the roadway caused the failure or if the tires were old and poorly maintained or if there was a flaw in the way they were constructed. Most of us have no idea what the condition our tires are in right now. I bet you have no idea how many miles you have on your tires do you? Have you checked to see if you’re getting good tread wear? Do you feel a shimmy or shake when you travel at freeway speed?

The problem with tires is that most of us have no idea how good or bad they are until we bring our vehicle in for service for another reason. With yesterday’s tragedy in mind why don’t you take a minute this morning to go look at the tires on your vehicle. If you don’t have a tire gauge, it would be a good idea to get one and learn how to properly use it.

After you have checked the tire pressure, a procedure that should be done every month. You should check your tire’s tread. This can be done by inserting a penny into the tread. Turn Lincoln’s head upside down and insert the penny in the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to change your tires.

It’s also a good idea to inspect the tire for uneven tread wear. If the tread on one side of the tire seems to be worn out more than on the other side you need to have your tires and perhaps the alignment of your vehicle adjusted. Often times the tread will wear quickly on the inside of the tire where it is hard to see with just a glance. This inspection will require you looking closely at your tires,  you might want to turn the steering wheel to get a better look at your front tire.

We can’t turn back the hands of time and prevent a tragedy that has already occurred from happening. What we can do is take steps today in hopes that this tragedy will not repeat itself. Please drive safely and make sure your vehicles are properly maintained. Remember, we’re riding along in that car with you and we want both of us to arrive at our destinations safely.

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