Cooper Tire, through its Tread Wisely program, encourages young drivers to check their tires before hitting the road for Thanksgiving. Performing three important tire safety checks – tire pressure, tread depth and overall tire condition – before driving can help students arrive safely back home.
Before taking to the roadways, students should:
1. Check tire pressur
Find the car’s ideal tire pressure listed on the sticker inside the car door, glove box or fuel door, or in the car’s manual. Remove the tire’s valve cap and press a tire gauge firmly onto the valve stem. The end of the tire pressure gauge will pop up and show a reading of the pounds per square inch (PSI) of air pressure in the tires. If the number is lower than the recommended tire pressure, add air and check again. If the reading on the gauge is higher than the pressure recommended for the car, air must be released.
2. Check tread depth
To check tread depth, use the penny test. Insert the edge of a penny into the most worn groove of the tire tread with Lincoln’s head down and facing you. If the top of Honest Abe’s head is covered by tread, meaning the top of his head cannot be seen, the tire tread is in good shape. If the top of his head is visible, the tire needs to be replaced.
3. Assess the overall condition of the tires
Ensure there are no cuts, cracks, punctures or bulges in all four tires on the car. Damaged tires are dangerous and can cause tire failure, shorten the life of the tire and result in loss of air. If any of these are spotted, get the tires checked by a professional before driving on them.
The Tread Wisely program, which includes a free mobile app, provides young drivers with educational videos, showing in two minutes or less how to perform each of these checks. These videos are part of a broader series of how-to videos available on the app that include how to change a flat tire, what to do if involved in an accident, what to do if pulled over by law enforcement, what to do if the check engine light comes on and more.
The Tread Wisely app also includes a unique ‘I Got There’ feature that allows young drivers to set a reminder to tell their roommates, friends or parents when they have arrived at their destination. With just a
couple of touches, users can send a pre-written text letting loved ones know they made it safely.
According to Tread Wisely spokesperson, college sophomore and rookie race car driver Loni Unser, “My roommates and friends are like family to me, and we care about each other’s safety. When I’m headed home from school, I use the Tread Wisely app’s ‘I Got There’ feature to let them know I made it. It’s easy to use and takes no time at all. It reminds me to tell them when I reach my destination so no one has to worry.”
The Tread Wisely app is free and available for download from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android). More information can be found at www.treadwisely.org.