Do you know how to tell if a tire is bald? One in three American drivers don’t . . . an alarming statistic but not terribly surprising.
Tires are generally under-appreciated, especially given their importance to driver safety. The tire industry is trying to change that with the public education campaign spearheaded by the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA). The annual campaign, known as National Tire Safety Week, started on Monday. This year's campaign is entitled "Know Your Roll."
Your tire tread has grooves to channel the water in order to maintain constant contact with the road surface and minimize hydroplaning. The Duraturn Mozzo Touring tire (photo below), for example, features four see-through grooves that enhance water evacuation and a solid center rib that provides continuous road contact. The tread blocks are designed to move water towards the evacuation channels and provide additional siping (biting edges) for better braking performance.
When tires become bald (no tread left as in the photo above) or worn down to 2/32” of tread left, their ability to push water away and resist hydroplaning is severely diminished. You should never let your tires come anywhere close to as bald as in the photo. Read this earlier blog post on how to tell if your tires need replacing.
Correct Tire Air Pressure is Another Biggie
According to the USTMA, surveys show that, in addition to many motorists not knowing how to identify a bald tire, less than 40 percent of drivers know how to properly check their air tire pressure.
Low inflation pressure is a problem any time but especially in the summer heat. It allows the tire to deflect (bend) more as it rolls. This will build up internal heat which can cause the tire to fail, or at the very least, wear out sooner.
Low inflation pressure also increases rolling resistance and can cause a reduction in fuel economy of up to 5 percent. You may also experience a significant loss of steering precision and cornering stability.
Don't Ask Your Tires To Carry Too Much Weight
Another important safety consideration is paying attention to the overall weight of your vehicle. When you count the weight of the vehicle itself, the occupants inside, and the cargo loaded in (or on) the vehicle, it all begins to add up.
Read this blog post on how to ascertain your tire load rating which indicates the amount of weight each tire can safely carry when properly inflated.
Today's tires are technological marvels, but they will only perform as designed if properly maintained. From everyone at Duraturn, we wish you a safe and happy summer travel season.