5 tips to get the most out of tires (and stay safe on the road)

A few simple decisions about tires can help motorists avoid deadly mistakes on the road — especially in wet conditions.

To kick off a new series, “Put It to the Test,” on Monday, TODAY offered tips to help drivers not only get the most out of their tires, but also keep passengers safe:

1. Rotate tires every 5,000-7,000 miles. This will help tires wear at the same time.

2. Always put new tires on the back axle. It will help drivers keep control of their cars on wet roads. “Its doesn’t matter if you’re driving front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive,” said Sarah Robinson, a Michelin tire safety expert. “If you lose traction in the rear first, the car’s gonna spin. Physics always wins.”

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3. Keep tire pressure at the recommended level. Low tire pressure can cause tires to lose their grip on wet, rainy surfaces. How much pressure do your tires need? Look for the number in your car owner’s manual or on your car door. 

4. Check tire pressure on a regular basis. “We want to do this once a month or before a long road trip. You want to do it in the morning when the pressures are cool and stabilized,” Robinson said.

5. Check tire tread depth regularly. This will help keep good traction on wet roads. An easy way to check tread depth is to use a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove: If you can see above Washington’s head, start ping for new tires.

For more information about tire safety, check out additional tips here. 

Learn how to check your tire pressure