Are your tires ready for winter?
Before taking on the blistering winter weather in Northeast Ohio, drivers should make sure their vehicles are safe to drive. One very important part of safe winter driving is having effective tires on your vehicle. Not only does driving with unsafe tires make you liable for damages if you cause an accident, but you could be found criminally guilty of a minor misdemeanor under Ohio law.
Most tire manufacturers and auto care businesses recommend you follow these four guidelines for maximum winter driving safety:
1. Check Your Tread: Your tire tread helps your car stop in slippery conditions. The less tread there is on the tire, the less traction it has. It is recommended that you replace a tire
no later than when its tread depth has been reduced to 2/32 of an inch. To see if your tread is deep enough, try the “Penny Test”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Q4k-N_24o
2. Check your Tire Pressure: Tire pressure is important to reduce the risk of blowouts, flats, and tread wear on your tires. Many cars tell you when your tire pressure is low. With the cold weather, you may have to increase your trips to the air pump. According to Goodyear, tires lose about one PSI for every ten degrees the temperature drops. With Ohio’s extreme winter cold, it is important to check your tire pressure regularly.
3. Rotate Tires Often: Most auto shops offer to rotate the tires when yo
u go in for an oil change. It is important to rotate your tires because each tire’s tread wears differently. Rotating tires allows the tires to wear evenly. Rotating tires also helps to extend the life of your tires, making you safer on the road for a longer time.
4. Invest in Winter Tires: Although they can be pricey, winter tires are specially made to handle cold temperatures and icy conditions. Winter tires have more tread which allows the tires to grip the road better, shortening the amount of time it takes to stop when you need to in an emergency.
Remember, when it comes to winter driving in Ohio, safety always come first!