Check your tires in winter to increase safety

Maintaining good contact between your tires and the road is critical for safe driving during inclement weather.

Many people know that falling temperatures and wet or snowy weather conditions all affect how your vehicle grips the road. Fewer people know that tire pressure and tire tread is critical for safe driving during bad weather.
Tires should always be inflated to the manufacturers recommended poundage. hen it comes to tire pressure, unfortunately, that's not always the case.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin-istration (NHTSA), about one in every three cars has a significantly under inflated tire, and 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur every year as a result of low tire pressure-related crashes. aking five minutes each month to check and adjust tire pressure can enhance safety, improve fuel economy and help tires last longer.

Additionally, the upcoming cold weather can have a dramatic effect on tire inflation. or every 10 degrees in temperature drop, motorists lose a pound of tire pressure; with every 10 degrees increase, motorists gain a pound of pressure. his makes regular inspection of tire pressure especially important in Colorado because temperature fluctuations are so common.

As for tire tread, it is just as important as tire pressure when it comes to safe driving.
To check tire tread, look for "wear bars" that periodically run across the hollow of each tread. f the tread has been worn down to the same height as the wear bar, then it's time for new tires.

Don't forget to rotate tires. lack of tire rotation can lead to uneven tire wear and can cause slippage in icy conditions when turning.

AAA Colorado encourages all motorists to inspect their car or have it inspected by a professional before the onset of winter driving conditions.

For more information on preparing your car for winter, or to find a AAA approved auto repair facility near you, go to www.aaa.com/CarCareTips.

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