October is Car Care Month
Wet Weather 'Whoa!'
Worn Tires Increase Crash Risk
AAA Urges Drivers to Get Tires Checked Now
HARTFORD, CT - Given the rain in the forecast and fallen leaves increasing the risk on wet roads, AAA is reminding motorists that now is the time to make sure your tires are road ready for the days - and months - ahead.
“It’s wet weather now and soon it will be snow and ice. Tires that are worn or improperly inflated not only add wear and tear to the vehicle, they put everyone in the vehicle at greater risk” says Eileen Chesney, Manager of AAA Car Care in Southington.
Previous AAA research indicates that driving on worn tires at high speeds in wet weather can increase stopping distance by an additional 87 feet – more than the length of a tractor trailer.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rain and wet pavement are contributing factors in more than a million crashes each year.
Checking Your Tires
For optimum performance, tires must have the correct air pressure, tread depth and the wheels of the vehicle must be properly aligned.
Tires depend on good tread depth to maintain traction and to shed water on the wet roads.
In order to ensure roadway safety, AAA Car Care or any AAA Approved Auto Repair will do a bumper to bumper ‘health inspection’ of your vehicle – including tires - at any time, at no cost.
Or, motorists can check their tire tread depth with a quarter (pic attached). Simply insert the quarter into the tread with the top of George Washington’s head into the groove.
If the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32” of tread and are fine for continued use. If you can see above the top of Washington’s head, your tires are unsafe.
Check the tread depth in three locations: the outer edge, the center and the inside edge.
AAA offers these additional wet-weather reminders:
- Slow down. Drive defensively and with compromised road conditions in mind.
- Increase following distance. In optimal conditions, drivers should allow 3-4 seconds to stop. When roads are wet, following distance should be increased to 8-10 seconds
- Make sure headlights are on and that your brake lights and taillights are clean and visible - not just so you can see but so you can be seen by others.
- Never use cruise control in wet-weather.
- Make sure windshield wipers work and don’t streak.
- If you do begin to skid or hydroplane, always look and steer in the direction you want to go.
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