Last week I shared my discovery that windshields are far more important than just keeping the bugs out of your face. As we prepare for our summer adventures, driving season has officially arrived. I remember when I was a new driver and my dad made me learn about the car. We went over how to check the oil, wash the windows and fill the gas tank. After this was completed, I was reminded to check the air in my tires because under-inflated tires cause unsafe driving conditions and accidents. It was embedded into me.
This National Tire Safety Week (June 5-11, 2011) tire expert and Michelin subjective test driver, Sarah K. Robinson shares her tips for tire safety. She gives direction on some of the simplest steps you can take to ensure you have a smooth, and most importantly safe, ride this summer travel season:
- Check you tire pressure – Check your tire pressure at least once a month and before and after a long trip. Tires can lose 1-2 psi per month.
- Examine your treads – Always make sure your tires have at least 2/32” of tread depth (the penny trick). Examine the wear patterns; the wear patterns can tell you whether your tires are over or under inflated and if your alignment is off.
- Avoid hydroplaning – Simple adjustments to driving including reducing your speed and avoiding wet spots, especially standing water can reduce your risk of hydroplaning.
- Rotate – Tires should be rotated every 6,000-8,000 miles.
- Keep deepest treads in the rear – Make sure when replacing just two tires that you put the two tires with the deepest treads on the rear axle regardless, whether you have front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
About Sarah K. Robinson – As the first female test driver at Michelin North America, Sarah K. Robinson is paving a new road for women in the automotive world. Robinson’s current responsibilities as a subjective test driver for Michelin include evaluating tire performance in both objective (e.g., wet braking) and subjective tests (e.g., wet and dry handling, noise) then delivering her results to Michelin’s designers and engineers to ensure the best possible tire is brought to market. She also develops and coordinates all visitor demonstrations, product launches and promotional activities occurring at Michelin’s test track, LaurensProving Grounds (LPG) in Greenville, South Carolina.