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Are Your Tires Ready for Summer?

The approach of summer means increased travel on mission trips and youth outings, making now the perfect time to ensure church vehicles are in proper working order. In particular, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasizes inspecting tire age and safety.

While much has been said in recent years about the importance of regularly checking tire inflation and tread depth, the NHTSA has added tire age to the list, finding that “tire age is a significant factor in tire related safety” because “aging can affect the safe performance of tires even if they have adequate tread and proper inflation.”  In other words, older tires can be a safety hazard even if they do not appear overly worn. Tire age has been in the news recently with reports uncovering tires sold as new that had actually been manufactured years before.

Understanding Tire Codes

GuideOne recommends tires be replaced as soon as they show signs of deterioration or at least every five years. However, it can be a challenge to know how old a vehicle’s tires are without understanding the codes that appear on them.

Look for the word “DOT” on the sidewall of the tire, which indicates the tire meets DOT safety standards, followed immediately by an 11- or 12- digit code. Grouped at the very end of this code will be four numbers. The first two numbers tell what week of the year the tire was manufactured, and the last two numbers tell the year. As an example, “4110” indicates that the tire was manufactured in the 41st week of 2010.

As part of your preparation for summer travel, consider checking the age of church vehicle tires, including the spare tire. If they are over five years old, strongly consider replacing the tires even if they appear to be in good shape.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.