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You see so many tire blowouts during the summer, with the debris on the freeway that you have to ask: "Is this a freeway or a gator farm?"

When summer temps heat up the tarmac, it's blowout season. And if you've ever had a blowout on a drive tire, you know it can be a heart-stopper. So other than only running routes in Alaska, how do you avoid a summertime tire blowout, the dreaded gator bite? It's simple: monitor your tire pressure every few days, and visually inspect your tires for broken treads about once a month.

Here's a good description of what happens to underinflated tires as the mercury rises:

An underinflated tire builds up heat as the internal parts flex and push against each other, weakening the bond between the tread and the underlying steel belts, especially when the temperature is above 100 degrees.

(And what happens during a blowout? Mythbusters explored one terrifying possibility...)

Like so many things in life, it's about an ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure. It takes 5 minutes every few days to check your tires vs. losing the better part of a day with a blowout. Plus, a properly inflated tire gets improves fuel mileage, and maybe you've noticed that diesel ain't exactly cheap.

Stay cool out there this summer!


Follow up: I found this great article about Schneider's approach to summer tire blowouts, which according to their numbers, cause more than 50% of all breakdowns. They're offering a "Bristol or Bust" sweepstakes to their fleet. Basically, they're encouraging drivers to really watch their tires, and get entered to win a trip to Bristol for the Food City 250 Nationwide race.

"Company efforts include checking trailer tires in large trailer pools and company operating centers; removing tires at higher tread depths; replacing all new trailer tires with DuraSeal self-sealing tires; and enhancing access to nationwide tire bank resources."

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