ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A big holiday weekend is sneaking up on us – and as with a lot of holidays, folks are packing up the car and hitting the road. But before you do that, it might be time to check on your tires.
Out of all of the Labor Day weekend travelers, about 85 percent travel by car. When it comes to safety, tires are a top priority.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 9 percent of crashes, cars are found to have an issue with a tire beforehand.
“It doesn’t hurt to do a brief inspection,” Joe’s Auto & Tire Service Adviser Kelly Utesch said.
When it comes to the speed and accuracy your car can stop at, tire tread is crucial.
“Even that tire brand new, at 60 miles an hour its going to require you right about 9.7 car lengths to come to a complete stop, and that’s in wet conditions,” Discount Tire Assistant Store Manager Adam said.
Both experts agree, an easy way to check on tire tread at home is taking a penny, flipping it upside down and sticking it between the tire tread lines. If you can see the top of honest Abe’s head, it might be time for a new set of tires.
“It’s pretty close,” Adam said. “If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you’re definitely due for some tires.”
Experts also say tire rotation is important for regulating your tire tread.
“When you go in for oil changes, it’s something that should always be checked. Check the treads, make sure that they are rotated regularly,” Utesch said.
Keep an eye on tire pressure.
“Having the right air pressure in your tire is definitely important, especially when it comes to stopping distance and response time,” Adam continued. “We all know that we got critters jumping out in front of us. That distance to stopping your vehicle and having the right tire pressure is crucial. ”
“You should check your tire pressure once a month anyway, they do naturally lose 1 PSI a month of pressure” Utesch said.
Often times, auto shops – like Discount Tires – do free tire pressure checks and inspections. All you have to do is ask. Additionally, because its a heavy traveling weekend, shops will offer rebates.