Car Tire Safety

A car tire with safe tread depth is photographed.

Photograph by Mike B on Pexels

People don’t usually consider the importance of items we use daily. We drive to work every day and might not think about the significance of our vehicle tires but practicing car tire safety is critical.

How can I tell if my car tires are safe to drive on?

A tire tread depth will tell you whether your tires are safe for use or if you should replace them. Insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of George Washington’s head upside down. If the top of his head is not visible, your tire has at least 4/32” of tread and is still in good condition. If you can see above the top of the first president’s head, then your tires are worn down, and you will need to replace them. You should also check the outer edge of each tire, the center, and the inner edge.

You can also use a penny to measure tire tread depth. If you can see above the top of President Lincoln’s head, your tire has worn down with less than 2/32” of the tread. Such a tire is determined unsafe for driving and below the legal minimum tread. You should purchase new tires immediately for the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road.

How often should I rotate my car tires?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends having the vehicle manufacturer rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Check your vehicle owner manual to see how often you should rotate your tires and the most suitable pattern for rotation. Some vehicles can not undergo tire rotation because the size of the front and rear tires are not the same. Review your vehicle owner manual for direction. You may not reach 6,000 miles in six months, but if suitable for your vehicle, you should still rotate your tires. Rotation will keep the tire wear even and better maintain vehicle safety. Furthermore, rotating your tires prevents poor steering-wheel handling and can improve your gas mileage. The rotation helps diminish different wear patterns on your tires. Uneven wear can boost rolling resistance reducing the miles per gallon.

How else can I practice car tire safety?

There are additional tips to practice car tire safety.

– When you buy tires, ensure you select tires with the correct size and load standards for your vehicle.

– Purchase a tire gauge and always keep it in your vehicle. Check your tire pressure at least once per month.

– When there is rainy weather, drive slowly.

– Do not overload your vehicle because it can generate extreme heat on your tires.

– Regularly check your tires for punctures, bulges, and other abnormalities.

If you want to learn more safety tips, please read about avoiding pesticides and preservatives in food.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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