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Take Time for A Moment That Matters: Tire Safety

Have working batteries in your smoke alarms? Done. Has your oil been freshly changed in your car? Done. Is there a new water filter for your refrigerator? Done. But when it comes to regularly checking your tires? Like most people, there may be some room for improvement.

As fall travel and winter weather loom, taking a moment to check your car tires can make a difference in keeping you safe on the road.


This year, Cooper Tires is encouraging drivers to mark Labor Day weekend on their calendar (and the first of every month) as a tire check safety moment, to make a habit of checking tires, especially as seasons change.

“Just as we regularly take a moment to check our smoke detector batteries when we change our clocks in the fall and spring, we need to designate a moment to check tire safety as well,” says Jessica Egerton, Director of Brand Development at Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.

Ensuring the overall condition of your tires is easy and important for your safety on the road. Consider this: Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle to come into contact with, and keep you connected to, the highway.

The recommended tread depth is more than 2/32 of an inch deep. Do your tires meet this minimum, or are they too worn? Would you know if they are? An easy and quick way to tell is with the penny tread test. You simply stick a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the tread covers the top of his head, you’re good to go. If not, it’s time to replace the tire.

Finding out whether your tires have the recommended tread depth can help in a number of ways, such as maintaining traction on the road, keeping control of the car, and preventing hydroplaning or sliding.

You don’t want to be under-pressured, either.

Tires not inflated to the recommended level of pressure can lead to tire failure uneven wear, and cause your car to use more gas.

This 10-minute safety check from Cooper Tires can help:

• Check the tread. Use the U.S. penny/Lincoln’s head method. Insert the penny into the tire tread, with Lincoln’s head down and facing you. If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, there is too little tread, and it’s time to replace the tire!

• Check the pressure. Look on the vehicle doorjamb, glove compartment fuel door or owner’s manual to find the recommended pressure for your tires. Press a tire gauge on the valve stem. Too low? Add air. Too high? Push down on the metal stem in the center of the valve to release some air. When you reach the recommended pressure, replace that valve cap. Also, don’t check pressure right after driving. Wait at least three hours until the tires are cool.

• Check your look. Inspect your tires for cuts, bulges, cracks, splits or punctures. When in doubt, ask a tire professional for an inspection.

Visit for more information about tire safety and more details on how to take make your tire safety check moment a regular habit.