While it’s impossible to foresee all potential road hazards, there are some easy steps that can help you preserve peace of mind when you’re on a road trip. Here’s a tire safety checklist to follow before you hit the road for a long journey.

Here are some important tire safety steps to follow before embarking on your road trip:

Don’t be deflated – check your tire pressure

Low tire pressure makes blowouts more likely and harms gas mileage. Use a tire pressure gauge to ensure every tire is inflated to your car’s recommended tire pressure, which you should find on a sticker inside your passenger door or in your car’s owner manual. If your tires are underinflated, take them to a tire dealer for a fill-up or do it yourself – many gas stations have inflation machines.

Make sure your tread depth is adequate

Road trips are not the time to mess around with shallow tread grooves. The shallower your tire’s tread, the less responsive it is to the road – especially when it’s wet, snowy or icy. Hydroplaning is a particularly dangerous possibility when your tread depth is lacking.

Tire dealers typically inspect your tire tread when you take your car in for a check-up. If you’d like to check your own tread, perform the penny test to make sure your grooves are still at safe levels. Even better: Our tires feature a Driving Safety Indicator that tells you how much tread life you have left.

Road Trip - Driving Safety Indicator
Our tires are equipped with a Driving Safety Indicator (DSI), patented by Nokian Tyres.

Get rotated and aligned

If it’s been between 4,000 and 8,000 miles since you’ve had your tires rotated, drop by your tire dealership to get that done. Uneven tread wear can lead to unstable driving. While the car’s at the shop, ask your dealer to check your alignment, too. Proper alignment can help extend the life of your tires. Poor alignment can lead to rapid deterioration in tread wear.

Check your spare

Nobody ever wants to have to use their spare tire, but when you encounter a road hazard it’s vital to have one safe and ready. When you’re rolling through this checklist with your primary tires, make sure your spare is properly inflated and still has solid tread depth.   

Know your surroundings

It never hurts to know who’s nearby if you need help with your tires along the way. It’s sensible to build a list of tire dealers in major areas along your route. We’ll give you a hand: Check out our dealer locator for a list of our tire dealers throughout North America.