When you’re behind the wheel of your car – whether you’re driving alone or with friends and family – safety should always be your biggest concern. And with fall officially in full swing, a new survey conducted by Bridgestone Americas has found that 61 percent of drivers plan to hit the road just this season. While many are planning their next hiking trip, beach getaway, or even just a remote getaway before the weather gets too cold, only 25 percent are actually taking their cars to a mechanic for an inspection before a road trip, in spite of the fact that over half have experienced car-related trouble during previous trips.
With a global pandemic still in full bloom, travel and commuting patterns have completely shifted how and when we get behind the wheel. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found a large percentage of Americans plan to use their vehicles for long distance travel through the end of the year. In addition, many Americans see their personal vehicle as the safest mode of travel in the current environment.
“As the only part of a vehicle that directly connects to the road, tires play a critical role in ensuring a safe journey,” said Chris Lasko, Chief Quality Officer, Bridgestone Americas. “Checking tire health is especially important for drivers who may have delayed routine vehicle maintenance in recent months due to COVID-19. We urge all Americans to inspect their tires today and keep their family and others safe on the road.”
It is the responsibility of every road user to ensure that their car — especially their tires — is in good condition and running safely and efficiently when on public roads (and even the not so public ones too). This is so easy to fix and could save you a major headache in the event of a car emergency. To make sure tires are ready to hit the road and allow passengers to get to their destination safely, Bridgestone recommends the following easy steps.
This may seem like a simple one, but it’s quite surprising how often people don’t check their tire pressure. Your tires are the only point of contact between your car and the road and you should keep them in tip-top condition. This should be checked monthly, as well as before long trips or when carrying an extra load, using a tire pressure gauge. Proper inflation information can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the tire information placard in the vehicle’s door jamb near the driver’s seat.
Routine tire rotation prevents uneven tire wear, and is important when it comes to maintaining the performance and safety of your vehicle. Tires should be rotated and balanced according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations or every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Visit an authorized Bridgestone dealer or company-owned retail location for support with tire rotation needs, or follow the pattern outlined in your owner’s manual.
Drivers should check tread depth to make sure tires have enough traction to grip the road. All it takes to check the tread depth is a penny. Put the penny into a tread groove, with Abraham Lincoln going in headfirst. If Lincoln’s head is fully visible in several grooves, it’s time for new tires.