Police warn of 'catastrophic tire failure' during heat wave
Heat alerts and warnings continue to be issued across Ontario.
Now, Ontario Provincial Police are advising motorists to pay special attention to vehicle maintenance, particularly the tires.
The OPP says there are more tire- and wheel-related problems in hot weather than at any other time of year.
Police say high heat is the main cause of what they call "catastrophic tire failure."
Sgt. Peter Leon says tire failure can lead to sudden and dangerous accidents.
"That could cause the vehicle to veer sharply from one side to the other, it could put you into a guard rail, it could put you into another motor vehicle, we could end up having a huge collision take place," Leon said.
Mechanic Chris Seddon says improper inflation is often the culprit and the heat makes it more dangerous.
He says drivers will guess how much air to put in their tires and over-inflate, putting too much pressure on the tire.
"It's very dangerous because if you're airing up a tire and you're standing in its trajectory, if that tire blows out on you, there's enough pressure on that tire to actually kill somebody," Seddon said.
The Canadian Automobile Association says driving with improperly inflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the chance of a blowout. Improper inflation also affects the handling and braking of a vehicle.
Tire pressure should be checked when the car has not been driven recently and should be inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Police also recommend regular maintenance of brakes, fluids and hoses to prevent problems.
They also advise traveling with a personal safety kit for summer that includes drinking water, sunscreen, a hat and rain gear.