Driving safely is an important thing to remember all year around. However, during the cold weather months it seems there are more things to watch out for when you are driving. These months bring unpredictable weather that can make driving more hazardous.
Not only do the roads get slick with ice and water but, falling trees, debris or rocks in the road, and fog or snow impairing vision are all conditions that we have to deal with during the cold weather.
Any time that you are driving your car it is essentially rolling down the road on the air that is trapped inside of your tires. The rubber material and tread that your tires are made from give the car the traction it needs to stay on the road. But, the air in the tires keeps the car up above the asphalt. If the air in the tires is too low, then the car will not drive correctly or safely.
During the cold weather, the air inside of your tires – which is a gas – will contract because of the low temperatures. This causes the pressure of the air inside of the rubber to be dramatically reduced. In fact, you can expect one psi per one degree of temperature change.
Here are some of the reasons that you need to make sure that the air pressure in your tires is checked carefully during the cold weather months:
- Low air pressure in your tires will affect the fuel efficiency of your car. When your tires are low on air pressure the car will ride lower on the ground. This causes a drag and the engine has to work harder to keep the car moving forward.
- Your car is designed to optimize the aerodynamics by riding on a recommended level of air pressure. If the pressure in your tires is too low, the car does not handle the way that it was designed to, making the car less safe that it was designed to be.
- If your tires do not have enough air in the, the way that they contact the road is affected and the rubber tread will wear at different rates. This will cause you to have to change your tires more often than you should, which will cost more money.
The best way to keep you and your family safe when driving in these hazardous conditions is to make sure that your car is in top condition. This includes making sure that your headlights and brake lights are working properly, that your car has new windshield wipers, and that your tires have plenty of air and tread.