AAA urges motorists to routinely check tires
The hot days between May and October have been given the nickname “blowout season” for the high occurrence of tire damage and AAA Carolinas is warning motorists to keep an eye on their tires, especially during this hot stretch.
Over the last two weeks, AAA Carolinas emergency roadside assistance has responded to 7,042 calls involving tires. “Driving on underinflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “Our hope is to equip motorists with the knowledge to identify the warning signs before it happens to them.”
Blowouts due to underinflated tires can and will happen any time of year, but the combination of heat and under inflation makes them extra prone to issue.
AAA tips for avoiding underinflated tires:
Inflate your tires to the recommended setting outlined on the tire information placard found most often on the driver's doorjamb or in the vehicle's owner's manual.
Check the tires monthly. Tires will typically lose up to 1 psi (pounds per square inch) per month, and pressure drops about 1 psi for every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop in air temperature. It is best to check the pressure when the car is cold, not after it has been running.
Buy a good tire gauge. It’s also a good idea to buy a portable compressor that works off of your car’s power outlet in case you need to pump up a tire. Compressors are available at many auto parts stores.
If you feel your tire begin to blow or it loses its grip on the road:
Maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel and straight a course.
Release the gas but stay off the brakes until the vehicle has coasted down to 25 miles per hour, then find a safe place to pull over on the road.
If possible, leave at least five feet between you and the roadway.
Put the car in park, engage the emergency flashes and have every passenger exit the car to a safe distance away before calling for roadside assistance.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.2 million members and the public with travel, automobile, and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.