Summer driving season has officially arrived and while we are all concerned with safety on the road, we often forget one of the most important components: our tires. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 660 highway fatalities are caused by underinflated tires annually.
This National Tire Safety Week (June 5-11, 2011) tire expert and Michelin subjective test driver, Sarah K. Robinson can share her tips for tire safety. She can explain some of the simplest steps you can take to ensure you have a smooth, and most importantly safe, ride this summer travel season including:
- 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, Laurens Proving Grounds (LPG) in Greenville, South Carolina.