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How you drive is a reflection of how much you care about the safety of not just your passengers, but also of your fellow motorists. With that in mind, it’s important to keep your driving habits, as well as your car’s condition, in check.
One of the things you need to be more mindful of is your tires. Make sure they’re always in great condition, as driving on worn-out or damaged tires is an easy way to figure in an accident.
Below are four common habits behind the wheel that can ruin your tires:
1) Playing with your steering wheel while parked
So you’re double-parked outside a Coco, waiting for your friend to decide if she wants pearls or nata de coco. Out of habit, you start fiddling around with the steering wheel, turning it left and right ever so slightly to help pass the time.
First of all, this is a bad habit. By doing this, you are unnecessarily wearing out your tires’ treads. This practice, which is referred to as "dry steering," can lead to uneven tire wear and even bald spots.
2) Driving over bumps and potholes
We can all agree that avoiding every bump, pothole, and road imperfection you come across in Metro Manila is a near-impossible task. Major thoroughfares like EDSA and C5 simply have too many of these to count.
Still, try your best to steer clear of as many of them as you can. Or, at the very least, slow down before you drive over them. Running over potholes and bumps at high speed won’t just result in an uncomfortable ride—it can lead to cracks and punctures on your tires. This can also end up damaging your wheels, and we all know scratched rims aren’t a pretty sight. And since the shock from a pothole travels all the way from the tires to the body, your car basically depreciates with every hit.
In the end, you might as well make it a point to avoid areas notorious for potholes and bumps.
3) Bad braking habits
Braking suddenly and unnecessarily isn’t just unsafe for you and your fellow motorists, it’s also a quick way to wear out your tire treads. Skidding over dry surfaces might lead to an early tire replacement, or worse, an accident.
4) Driving with incorrect tire pressure, misaligned wheels
Do you often feel your vehicle or steering wheel drifting to one side while you’re driving? This could be a sign that you’re running on poorly inflated tires or misaligned wheels. Driving under these conditions may cause unnecessary stress for you on the road because of the sheer number of steering corrections you’ll need to make—not to mention some uneven tread wear on your car’s tires.
These pieces of rubber are all that are keeping you and your vehicle firmly planted on the ground, while giving you a comfortable ride at the same time.
That being said, there are tire brands that can take whatever you throw at them. For one, Bridgestone tires have the technology and durability to withstand the grind of daily driving in Metro Manila. But while they’re up to the task, it’s still important to do your part and drive in a manner that’s friendly to your tires.
So, are you guilty of any of these harmful driving habits?