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Checking Your Tires for the Winter

A Few Tips for Tire Safety and Handling the Road in Winter Weather Conditions

How can I easily make sure my tires have enough tread?

Here is a no-cost, simple way to check to see if your tires are safe to drive on. Take a penny and hold it from the base of Abe Lincoln’s body. Place the penny into the tire tread with his head down. If any part of his head is blocked from the tire tread, then your tires have enough tread & traction. Make sure to check all your tires and repeat around the tire itself. If you are unsure of the conditions of your tires, let an expert inspect your vehicle to help you determine if it’s safe for the road.


How does the cold temperature affect my tire pressure?

During the winter months tire pressure usually lowers itself. Every time the air temperature drops 10 degrees, the air pressure in your tire can go down 1 to 2 PSI’s. Under-inflated tires will cause your car to react slower in general, but during bad weather this will be magnified significantly. Checking your tires more frequently in the winter time will make sure your vehicle responds properly to your driving.

How does the winter weather affect my vehicle’s handling?

Winter conditions such as, rain, snow, and ice will dramatically affect the breaking distance of your vehicle. In order to stop safely, wheels must maintain traction with the road surface at all times, also referred to as “rolling traction”. Driving at slower speeds, making smoother stops and turns, and increased following distances will help in prevent any accidents during the winter season.


Knowing Your Stopping Distance.

Understanding your vehicle stopping distance in different weather conditions is important. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in ideal weather a vehicle traveling 40 mph will take approximately 120 feet to break. In the rain that distance is multiplied 2x, and on ice and snow, that distance is multiplied by 10x. Make sure you leave yourself enough following distance behind other vehicles to stop safely. Also, plan your route before you drive when there is inclement weather. The last thing you need is surprises that will take your eyes off the road.

Make sure your family is covered.

These tips are brought to you by USI Affinity to ensure the safety and security of you and your family. Learn more and find out how to get your auto and homeowners insurance in sync with your needs at special group rates by calling 1-888-577-7771,or by clicking here to contact us.