Summer driving safety = checking your tires -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Summer driving safety = checking your tires


Auto experts say summer heat puts the most stress on car tires, as road temperatures reach as high as 200 degrees fahrenheit.

They say you need to take care of your tires to stay safe.

A tire industry survey found that nearly 7 out of 10 vehicles on the road hadunder inflatedd tires, and experts warn that can lead to blowouts and real danger on the road.

The Rubber Manufacturer's Association says too many drivers ignore the only equipment of their car that actually touches the road - tires.

Summer heat can cause tires to fail if they have dry rot or low air pressure, and air pressure is critical under high heat conditions.

"It overheats the tire, and builds pressure up in the tire, causing it to blow out," explained General Manager Ricky Hunt with Cleve Wester Tire Mart.

The Rubber Manufacturer's Association found only 9 percent of vehicles had four properly inflated tires and that 18 percent of vehicles had at least one severelyunder inflatedd tire.

5 out of 6 motorists do not properly check tire pressure.

Experts warn drivers should pay more attention to their tires.

Another danger factor that heat makes worse, is called dry rot.

"It's when your tire starts cracking," said Hunt. "The side wall. It's [a combination of] your driving on the road [and] the weight of the vehicle with the tire. Then [with] the heat of the road, it just increases your chances of a blow out."

Experts say it's best to have your tires checked before you go on a road trip because if your tires have a problem, the heat on the road can make that problem explosive.

"You take a vehicle, you load it down with four or five people. With the luggage, gone for several days you put luggage in the car. [It's] all that you need take into consideration building up heat inside the tires," said Hunt.

Tires can fall victim to heat through friction build up, and tire experts say you should check your tire pressure at least once a month.

The proper inflation pressure is on the inside of your driver's car door. Most recent cars have tire pressure warning lights. If that light turns on, you should check the tire immediately.

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