National Tire Safety Week spotlights tire maintenance
Jun 6, 2011 10:16 AM, By Charles E Wilson
The Department of Transportation (DOT) hopes to put the spotlight on tire safety this week. National Tire Safety Week runs from June 5-11, and coincides with the begining of the heavy summer driving season.
The latest data from DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, nearly 3,400 people died and an estimated 116,000 were injured in tire-related crashes. "As the weather warms up, it's especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated," DOT Secretary Ray LaHood says.
That recommendation is echoed by Doug Jones, customer engineering support manager for Michelin Americas Truck Tires, who adds that tires are one of the most neglected items on a vehicle. "Truck drivers need to play close attention to tire condition under the federal government's new CSA program," he says. "Bad tires could help cost a driver his license."
Jones says drivers need to get up close and personal with the tires on a tractor-trailer rig. During pre-trip inspections, they need to check tires for cuts, exposed wires, irregular wear, and tread depth (minimum of 2/32" on trailer and drive tires and 4/32" on steer tires). Check for nails and other road-hazard damage.
Most importantly, tires must hold the right amount of air. If tire pressure falls lower than 50% of the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall, the vehicle will be placed out of service by roadside inspectors.
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