(BPT) - Vacations are keeping Americans busy this season. But, with all that fun, make sure you don't overlook caring for your car and tires. If you do, the only thing you'll be doing is standing in the breakdown lane.
Americans will travel 1,045 miles on average to reach their destinations, according to the recent Hankook Tire Quarterly Gauge Index. Before leaving for a trip, however, only 48 percent of Americans check their vehicle's tires for proper tread depth or tire damage. Drivers should monitor their tire pressure and tread and look for tire damage such as bruises, tears or punctures at least once a month.
In addition to checking your tires, make sure you have your spare tire ready to go. These days, most people aren't considering this to be a top priority - only 21 percent think a spare tire is the most necessary item for travel safety. In fact, 52 percent of Americans consider their cellphone to be the most important safety item. While you're checking the pressure and condition of your vehicle's tires that are actually touching the ground, don't forget to check your spare tire. The last thing you want to encounter when you have a blowout is a flat or underinflated spare.
And where do people turn when in a bind with car troubles? Thirty-three percent of American drivers said they would call AAA first before calling a sibling, friend, parent or colleague.
We all want to do our best to avoid possible issues on the road, so here are some safety tips from Hankook Tire America to keep in mind:
Park in the shade - Air in your vehicle's tires expands as temperatures rise, in fact for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit increase in ambient air temperature, your tire's inflation pressure can go up by about 1 psi.
Check fluid levels - Make sure the check includes topping off window washer, brake and transmission fluids and motor oil.
Rotate your tires - Tire rotation is another important safety precaution and is recommended every 7,000 miles or six months. Rotating tires is the practice of moving automobile tires from one position on the car to another to provide optimal wear.
Check brakes and brake pads/shoes - Be sure to monitor them closely, especially if you can't remember how long it has been since they were last checked.
Don't overload your car - Overloading a car can lead to tire deformation, so be sure to check the vehicle's owner's manual for the recommended maximum weight capacity.
Check your trunk - It is important to make sure you have the tools you need to change a flat: a spare tire, a lug wrench and a jack.
Choose the right tire - Tires that offer lower rolling resistance, such as the Ultra-High Performance All-Season Hankook Ventus S1 noble2, can deliver fuel savings by minimizing wasted energy as a tire rolls, thereby improving fuel efficiency and saving consumers money.