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We have all had risky moments on the road: swerving out of the way, braking hard or slipping toward an intersection. Many drivers owe their safety in these situations to their tires. As the only point of contact between your vehicle and the ground, tires have a vital role.

Taking care of your tires is a great way to prevent accidents and getting stuck at the side of the road. However, many Seattle residents don’t give enough thought to them, which could cause the tires to fail when drivers need them the most. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends proper tire maintenance for a safe journey.

Only one in five drivers inflates their tires with the right amount of air. NHTSA reminds drivers to fill their tires according to the auto manufacturer’s directions in their vehicle manual. The right amount of pressure depends on the vehicle – not the tire. Any resident can check pressure on their own with the help of a tire gauge.

The tread is also a key indicator of your tire’s health. Your tires are more prone to slipping in rain and ice if they have a thinner tread. Contrary to what you might expect, the tread is not necessarily related to the tire’s age. Drivers should replace tires before their tread wears down to a sixteenth of an inch.

Your vehicle’s owner manual should include all of the important information about your tires, such as how often to rotate them around the vehicle and which size to purchase.

Drivers who ignore their vehicle’s maintenance could endanger the motorists around them. Imagine one of those dicey driving situations without a healthy vehicle. Crashes from poor maintenance are preventable, so be sure to follow safety guidelines and commit to regular vehicle check-ups.