With the arrival of winter weather right around the corner, Summit County Ambulance Service is urging drivers to be sure their tires are ready to take on snowy roads.
The ambulance service is teaming up with Meadow Creek Tire of Frisco to provide free tire-safety checks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue fire safety expo in the Target parking lot in Silverthorne. The tire checks will include an inspection of tread wear and tire pressure, as well as education on tire maintenance and safety. All drivers who bring their vehicles in for the safety check will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Target gift card.
“Unfortunately, all of us at Summit County Ambulance Service have personal experiences, some extremely tragic, responding to collisions with vehicles that have worn tires,” said Ambulance Service supervisor Jim Levi in a news release. “Properly inflated tires with good tread can make a world of difference during wet or icy conditions.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that tire failure — including tread separations, bald tires, under-inflated tires and blowouts — causes about 11,000 crashes and nearly 200 fatalities annually. Under-inflation also leads to poor fuel economy, sluggish handling, longer stopping distances and stress on tire components, according to the administration.
Maintaining proper tire pressure can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. To find the tire pressure recommended by a vehicle’s manufacturer, a driver can check the owner’s manual or refer to a sticker located in the door jamb or glove box. Drivers should not inflate tires to the maximum pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
Tire tread grips the road and provides traction, particularly on wet, snowy or icy roads. However, excessive wear can cause tire failure even on dry roads. Tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 inch. To check a tire’s tread wear, insert a penny into the tread upside down. If the top of President Abraham Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s time to replace the tire.
“We’re encouraging everyone to carve out a little bit of time to check their tires before the snow flies, not only for your own safety, but also for those you share the road with,” said Gary Bergman of Meadow Creek Tire.
Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue’s fire safety expo will include a variety of free activities, interactive displays and emergency-preparedness information for all ages.
Participating organizations include the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Patrol, Summit County Communications, Summit County Ambulance Service, the Summit County Wildfire Council, Silverthorne Police Department, Summit County Building Department, Kremmling Fire Department, Summit County Water Rescue, Summit County Search and Rescue, CBS-News 4 mobile weather lab, American Red Cross, Service Monkey, Summit Systems fire alarms, Tri-County Fire Extinguisher and State Farm Insurance.