Happy Safe Patty’s Day! That’s the new name we’ve come up with to remind you of the importance of St. Patrick’s Day safety. Luckily, we’re making our way out of winter and heading toward the promise of summer through a delightful spring. But as we all know, luck is an odd thing. We’ve all been there before; you end up taking a day off from work and it turns out a pipe burst and all your coworkers got to go home anyway. It’s just a simple case of bad luck. Some say that if they didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all. I’d like to think that with any luck, I’ll change your mind that sometimes…it’s just better to make your own luck for St. Patrick’s Day safety.
Here are three ways to make your own luck considering tire safety.
- Check Your Tire Pressure
It is crucial for your tires to be properly inflated to ensure your vehicle is optimized for performance and safety. Considering safety, underinflated tires generate more heat and can lead to failure because they ride more on the edges. This forces the sidewalls to flex, thus heating up the tires, causing rapid and uneven treadwear, all while making your commute less fuel efficient. It’s easy to say, “just my luck” when you’re on the side of the road with a flat tire. But if you truly pay attention to your tire pressure, you can reduce the chances of tire failure, premature wear, and you won’t have to complain about gas prices since you’re not filling the tank up as much! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that underinflated tires are 25% more likely to be involved in a tire-related accident. If you keep your tires inflated, it looks like you could be thanking your lucky stars avoiding close calls.
- Check Your Tread
Tread depth is another area that can help you make your own luck when trying to stop, more or less (you’ll see what I mean). Here’s a scenario: It’s raining and you’re on your way to work. Rush hour has school buses, city buses, bikes, and cars clogging up the streets. Another driver thinks there’s an opening and darts out in front of you, so you have to hit the brakes. Hard. If you’re tread is low and worn down, your stopping distance can increase by nearly ten car lengths than if you had newer tires with deeper tread grooves. TEN! That’s the difference between a close call and a collision. You might think that it’s “just bad luck” that a car pulled out in front of you. But again, on good tires, you’ll be able to stop in time, changing your luck for the better.
- Know Your Tire’s Age
Removing old tires, regardless of treat depth, can help you stay safer on roadways. Even when replacing just one tire, you should never use old or used tires just to save a few bucks. The older tires get, the more likely they are to breakdown or fail. It’s not possible to tell how old a tire is just by glancing at it. They might look perfectly normal but depending on age, tires oxidize and deteriorate from the inside. Luckily, there’s a way for you to be able to tell a tire’s age on your own before it’s too late. On your tire’s DOT number stamped on the sidewall, there is a number that may look like this:
The last four digits of this number are the week and the year this tire was made. In this example, the tire was made in the 26th week of 2013. Once a tire reaches ten years old, no matter the circumstance, it should be replaced immediately. And all tires have different life expectancies. For example, a sportier car should have tires replaced if they are five or more years old based on individual tire manufacturer recommendations. You know what they say, luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
These three steps can help you make your own luck when you’re out there on the road. This way, you might run out of gas, but you won’t run out of luck when it comes to tire safety. But please don’t run out of gas, that’d be silly.