(Louisiana Highway Safety Commission) - The air conditioner isn't the only thing drivers should pay attention to on their vehicles this summer.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission are cautioning drivers that hot weather and under-inflated tires are a dangerous combination.
During the summer while vehicles are being driven at highway speeds, the heat and hot roadways can breakdown car tires and increase the chance of tire failure. According to NHTSA, under-inflation also leads to sluggish handling, longer stopping distances and increased stress on tire components.
Proper pressure is the most important part of maintaining a vehicle's tires.
Here are a few tips from NHTSA on maintaining proper tire pressure:
• Locate the recommended tire pressure on the Tire and Loading Information Labels on the driver's side door edge or post or in the owner's manual. (Remember, the correct pressure for your tire is what the vehicle manufacturer has listed, NOT what is listed on the tire itself.)
• Check the tire pressure of all tires.
• If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve stem with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure.
• If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pressure and the correct tire pressure. These "missing" pounds of pressure are what you will need to add. At a service station, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is under-inflated.
• Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).