NHTSA: Hot Weather, Under-Inflated Tires = Recipe for Disaster

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges drivers to check tire pressure and tread-wear often--especially during the hot, summer months, which can impact the tire aging process.

"Checking tires is particularly critical during the summer when roads are hot and families are putting a lot of miles on their cars with their vacation plans," said NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason. "Overloaded vehicles, under-inflated tires, and hot weather can all combine to possibly turn a family vacation into a horrific nightmare." Nason said she hoped a new television ad (which can be viewed at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/multimedia/TV/HotTires.wmv) will help encourage people to regularly check their tires for proper air pressure and monitor tread wear.

"Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and fuel economy of your vehicle," Nason said. "Under-inflated tires or worn-down treads are a major cause of failure." Nason noted that few people take the time to check the condition of their tires, or whether the tire is properly inflated. A tire industry survey this year found 85 percent of drivers fail to properly check tire pressure. NHTSA estimates that crashes associated with tire problems take approximately 660 lives each year and injure 33,000 people. For proper tire care and procedures to check the air pressure and treads, visit http://www.safercar.gov/.

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