This week (May 20-27) is National Tire Safety Week, and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has issued tire safety tips for drivers.

According to OTS, in 2017, 738 people died in tire-related crashes nationwide. Poor tire maintenance, such as not having enough air and driving on bald tires, can lead to flat tires and blowouts. In addition, not taking proper care of tires can reduce fuel efficiency and lower the lifespan of the tires.

“Proper tire care goes hand in hand with car maintenance, a vital part of traveling safely,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “All drivers should make it a habit of inspecting tires for wear and tear as well as inflation.”

OTS’ tips for tire safety, not just during National Tire Safety Week, but throughout the year:

  • The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association suggests drivers check their tire pressure on a monthly basis, following the car manufacturer’s recommendations for pressure levels.
  • Get your tires rotated and make sure they are properly aligned. Check the owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to rotate. Typically, it is every 5,000-8,000 miles.
  • Understand the dangers of buying used tires. While it might save money, tires wear down over time and there’s no way of knowing the history of the tires, such as if they were driven while underinflated or damaged from hitting a pothole or curb.
  • Check your tire tread with the penny test. Insert a penny into the tire tread grooves with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires. There are also built in tread wear bars on most tires at the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear, it’s time to replace the tires.

For more information on tires and tire maintenance visit