road trip
With my daughter on a Disney road trip last spring.

Warmer and longer days can only mean one thing: it’s officially road trip season.

It’s time to hop in the car and make new memories. After all, summer is short. But before we make plans, tire safety first. Not to worry, Cooper Tires has provided me with some great advice- and of course, I’m sharing it with you.

*This post is part of a paid partnership with Cooper Tires, which provided information for this story. Learn more about protecting your tires and your car by following the hashtag #TakeOnPotholes on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

After the winter storms, come the potholes…

You know the saying, right? Well, it’s what I say to my kid every year when we find massive craters in the streets. Our poor tires. Between January and April, we must have had about three tire repairs and two flats. It’s mostly because of potholes. And New Jersey is full of them!

They are everywhere. I’d lose count if I tried to figure out how many there are around my neighborhood. One particular street had about 5 before getting to the stop sign. The sad truth is that this is not a good thing for drivers.

Related: 5 Ways to Keep Kids Busy on Road Trips

There are many potholes in the side streets around where we live in New Jersey.


Tires matter

It’s so important to understand your tires as a driver. For safer road trips, it’s a good idea to maintain and inspect your tires before taking off anywhere.

“Tire maintenance might not always be top of mind for drivers, but being aware of hazards along the road, such as potholes, can help save money in repairs and increase the lifespan of tires.”

Jessica Egerton, Director of Brand Development for Cooper Tires
Giant pothole on the side street of a bank nearby. Small animals seem to enjoy it.

Tire Safety Tips

Now, I promised you some good advice on this topic and I will deliver. Here’s are some habits you should develop when it comes to your tires. There’s no need to pay anyone for these simple things you can DIY in order to prevent tire trouble.

  • Check your tires- Jessica recommends checking the pressure, tread depth and the overall condition of the tire before getting on the road.
  • Avoid potholes- being cautious and going around potholes can save your tires. Some GPS apps even warn you when a pothole is ahead.
  • Properly drive through potholes- say what? Yes! There’s a right way. Cooper Tires advises to slow down when approaching the pothole, release the brakes before your tires come in contact with the pothole, and roll gently through the pothole.
cooper tires

How to check the tread depth of your tires

You can check the tread depth of your tires all by yourself. In fact, it’s easy, and can be done with a simple Penny.

Cooper Tires says the tread on your tires should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep and can be checked by inserting a U.S. penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread. If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, it is time to replace the tire.

Pretty simple, right? Check out Cooper Tires tip sheet here.