Leadership Blog

Check It Out or Blow It Up!

Posted on May 30, 2014 | in Safety | by

Walking through my wife’s home town, I noticed a parked car with a dangerous two-inch bulge in the front tire sidewall.  A “well-worn” vehicle, it’s owner approached and I said, “Sir, I’m in the tire industry, and can tell you that this tire is unsafe and about to blow up!”  He looked at me, irritated, and said, “Hey man!  This whole car is going to blow up any minute now!”  Then, he jumped into the car and, to my dismay, sped off!

Anyone who has worked in the tire industry habitually observes tires when stopped at a traffic light or when walking through a parking lot.  My recent compulsive audits unfortunately reveal a large percentage of under-inflated or excessively worn tires.

Validating my impromptu audits, a Rubber Manufacturers Association study cites that 85% of drivers do not properly check tire inflation pressure.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 30% of the cars or light trucks have at least one tire under-inflated by 8 PSI or more, which can lead to unsafe conditions, accelerated tire wear, and decreased fuel efficiency.  The US Department of Energy cites that proper inflation can save up to 12 cents per gallon.

With the summer travel season officially underway, this blog is to remind you to check your tires:

  1. Check for proper inflation monthly and before long trips.  Use an accurate pressure gauge, as even an expert cannot visually judge tire pressure.  Tires leak air over time and varying temperatures can also cause pressure to decrease.  The recommended inflation pressure is found on the vehicle door placard or in the owner’s manual.
  2. Check tread condition.  If you see uneven or excessive wear across the tread, or damage to any part of the tire, have a tire dealer check it out.
  3. Stop by a friendly tire dealer and they will likely check your tires for free.

For more information, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Association at http://www.safercar.gov/tire.

Tire maintenance is both a Safety and Sustainability issue, for your family and fuel economy!
And Pass It On, to your “en-tire” family!

Quote from the late great music legend Roy Orbison: “I may be a living legend, but that sure don’t help when I’ve got to change a flat tire.”

Checking Tire Pressure

Checking Tire Pressure

3 Responses to “Check It Out or Blow It Up!”

  1. Brandon C says:

    What are your thoughts on Nitrogen VS. Air? I have been asked by my local tire dealer to switch the air out of my tires for nitrogen. Not very expensive, but is it worth?

  2. Roger D. Waddell says:

    Excellent advice, Mr. K!

    Funny, I have never worked in the tire industry but I find myself observing other’s tires quite often. I sometimes wonder how many accidents are caused by overly worn or improperly inflated tires.

    Ahhhh, remember the day when all Georgia vehicles were required to have an annual inspection?!?! Whooops….I’m dating myself!!

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