Hot weather plus under-inflated tires are a dangerous combination. This has been the warning of The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The heat and hot roadways contribute to the breakdown of tires and a greater risk for tire failure during the summer months.
As estimated by NHTSA, there are approximately 11,000 crashes a year caused by tire failure. Among common causes are blowouts, bald tires, tread separations, and under-inflated tires. These factors can lead to increased stress on tire components.
Proper pressure is the most important part of maintaining a vehicle's tires. Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction and load carrying capability of vehicles and can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent.
Here's a list of the following safety recommendations from NHTSA:
-Follow the recommended tire pressure in pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) for your vehicle. The PSI info is found on the vehicle placard typically inside the car door and in the owner's manual.
-Check your tires regularly (every month) to ensure proper inflation. Use a tire pressure gauge to store in your vehicle.
-If your vehicle is equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), know where the TPMS warning is on your dashboard, and take action if you receive a warning.
-Read your vehicle owner’s manual for recommendations for tire replacement. Some manufacturers recommend 6 years, others recommend 10 years as the maximum service life for tires, including spares.
-Monitor the tread on all tires on your vehicle. Tires with tread worn down to 2/32 of an inch or less are not safe and should be replaced.
-Look for treadwear indicators – raised sections spaced throughout the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear it is time to replace your tires.
-Do the penny test. Place a penny in the tread of your tires with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your tire has less than 2/32 of an inches of tread and you are ready for new tires.
-Always fasten your seatbelt.
For more info, read Safety in Numbers on tire maintenance and safety