VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Keeping your tires in tip top shape could save your life, especially in this heat.
State troopers believe a blown tire caused a fatal SUV crash Monday.
Mechanics say you can prevent many problems by checking your air pressure and getting tires rotated and balanced on a regular basis.
Taking care of your tires could save you money and most importantly your life.
"A lot of folks say well I didn't do anything," said Kevin Wacter, the owner of Smith Tire. "I didn't hit anything the tire just blew out down the road, well it blew out for a reason."
Kevin Wachter says some reasons for blow outs could be slow leaks, heat, or dry rot.
Monday morning on Georgia 31 in Lowndes County a Florida man was killed in a crash. A tire blew out causing an SUV to run off the road, flip and hit a tree. The driver was sent to the hospital. The Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team says the tire could've been old, something could've cut the tire causing it to explode, or it may have not been properly inflated.
Auto technicians say it's important to be aware of the age of the tire, the tread, and air pressure.
"If you run an underinflated tire even in the winter time you're going to build up heat and when you have an old tire a dry tire with the dry rot or ozone cracking it builds up heat and that's when you have sidewall failure," said Wacter.
Sgt. Carl Taylor says in this tough economy many people are trying to squeeze that last mile out of their tires.
"Most tires are designed with a wear sensor bar built into it," said Sgt. Carl Taylor with the Georgia State Patrol. "We try to stress to people to make sure when a tire gets to a wear point, it's safer and more economical than trying to get that last mile."
Some auto technicians recommend getting your tires rotated every 5,000 miles and replacing them every four years.
It's also important to check the date on tires before you purchase them.