Now who won the cool points in the house last week? Yep, you guessed it. This mama. You guys, would have thought I won wife of the year when I partnered with Bridgestone to learn all about tire safety. They flew Steve and me out to Dallas where we got to test drive different types of tires at the Texas Motor Speedway….I still can’t get over it.
I have a confession to make, cars have never really been my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my car, but I just don’t know that much about it. I’ve done my fair share of listening while Steve went on and on about the engines, the style, how fast they can go—I’m sure you know exactly what I mean! But when that check tires or check engine light on my dashboard goes on, well, I’m more likely to pretend I didn’t see it and hope it just goes away than I am to make a beeline for my service center. I realize how silly that sounds, especially considering I’m usually driving around some pretty precious cargo—my kids! But I have always been a little intimidated about this stuff. You too? When that low tire pressure light goes on, I know it probably just needs a little air. But what if I put in too little? Too much? Can tires explode from too much air? I did not want to find out the hard way!
But here’s the deal. Those lights mean something is wrong and it’s really important to address them right away. I met with a Bridgestone engineer named Will and he really put it all in perspective for me when he reminded me that no matter what kind of car you’re driving, literally the only thing that touches the road is your tires! Think about that for as second. A lot is riding on those tires, so it’s important to take good care of them. If you have questions (like “Will my tires explode if I fill them with too much air?”) stop at your mechanic shop or service station and ask away. There is no shame in asking and the more you know, the safer you can keep your ride.
Bridgestone was hosting their Consumer Tire Product Launch in Dallas last week and invited Steve and me to come along to learn a little bit more about tires in advance of National Tire Safety Week (May 20-27) and the busy summer driving season that’s upon us. We flew in on Wednesday and were greeted with an incredible welcome basket in our hotel room. I’m talking hats (Michigan shout-out for my hubby!), albums from some of my favorite country stars including Russell Dickerson (shout-out to his wife Kailey who I had so much fun doing an “In the Bed With.” Check it out here if you haven’t yet! It’s a good one!) towels, Yeti cups, golf balls, and ALL THE SNACKS! My kids loved me when I arrived home with this haul!
Now the real thing we need to talk about here is that fire suit. Guys, I am still not over it. Can you believe it?? I mean this thing was the REAL DEAL. It’s the same suits that professional race car drivers wear, but customized just for me with my logo, “ALL THE THINGS” written on the back, and it was in my all-time fav color: white! I felt like a real bada** as soon as I put it on. I am obsessed with it. I think I’ve got my Halloween costume for life!
Sadly, I had to take the jumpsuit off and get ready for a dinner hosted by Bridgestone with music by one of the coolest country stars around, Tyler Rich. You girls sent him some amazing questions, so thank you for that! Yes, he’s engaged, but his music is making waves, so make sure you check him out. Bridgestone’s Firestone tire brand is the Official Tire of Country Music and it was so fun to hear that Nashville sound in Dallas!
The next morning we got up bright and early for the coolest thing ever. We spent the entire day at the Texas Motor Speedway learning how to drive on different types of tires. It was insane. I really had no idea what a difference a great set of tires makes! The goal was to see how different tires performed and handled in different conditions, so we got to try out a lot of difference scenarios. And I only took out one cone all day, which is pretty dang good if you ask me! Ha!
We got to see four different types of tires, but the ones that stood out to me the most were the Firestone WeatherGrip tires. They are the perfect tire for all seasons, so no matter whether you live in Seattle, Minnesota, or Tennessee, you’re covered. These were definitely my pick for driving in Nashville since some days it feels like the weather changes every few hours! If you were following along with my stories, you saw us going through tunnels with different weather conditions in each one to show just how great the WeatherGrip is in rain and standing water. Hydro-planning and driving in snow are two things that make me really nervous, but these tires are so good that we had no issues in the standing water, I really felt confident and safe driving on them. Lily will start driving next year and these are the tires I will be putting on her car—no question about it!
INFLATE + ROTATE + EVALUATE
- Inflate: You should check your tire pressure at least once a month, and always before long trips. If you see they are low, even just a little bit, inflate them to the correct amount before you hit the road. You can order a simple tire gauge like this or this slightly more advanced version for under $20 on Amazon.
- Rotate: Turns out this isn’t just an upsell at oil change shops! Your tires do actually need to be rotated regularly to keep them in top shape longer since they will wear out unevenly otherwise. Make sure to rotate them every 5,000-7,000 miles. If you aren’t sure where to go, I recommend Firestone Complete Auto Care (which is owned by Bridgestone!). With so many locations across the US, there’s sure to be one near you and they can get you fixed and out of the door faster than you thought possible.
- Evaluate: I know when I was growing up, I would always see my dad kick the tires to check them, but that’s not actually the most effective way to check your tires! We already covered checking tire pressure, but you’ll also want to check your treads every few months using the penny test. Check out a couple short, yet informative videos explaining the importance of why we should be doing this. TireSafety.com/LivingwithLandyn According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. YIKES!
If you think your treads might be low, go to a trusted tire professional. They will always be able to tell you if your tires or good to go or if they are weathering and need some repair or replacing.
Steve always jokes about my crazy driving, but at the end of the day, I got to show him what crazy driving really looks like. My new friends at Bridgestone let me take a few laps (in my new jumpsuit of course!) around the track at top speeds, Mario Andretti style! It was really unbelievable and so much fun. I walked away with a new appreciation for the cool technology behind tires and all they do to keep us safe on the road, and I hope it’s done the same for you!
A FEW MORE HELPFUL HINTS
Need a few more helpful tire hints? You know, I’ve got to share ‘em with ya!
- Did your car come with a spare tire? Apparently, most don’t anymore. If you don’t have a spare tire, you may want to make the switch to Bridgestone DriveGuard tires – see bullet point #3 below.
- Always have your spare tire checked every time you check your other tires. The only thing worse than being stranded somewhere with a flat is discovering your spare is flat too! Ugh.
- If you don’t like changing your tires yourself or just don’t know how (no shame!), you may want to check out Bridgestone DriveGuard tires, which will drive up to fifty miles after being punctured. Fifty miles should be more than enough to get you to a repair shop or somewhere safe to wait for a tow truck. Doesn’t that thought just make you breathe a big sigh of relief?
- According to AAA, over 100 million of us are planning to travel this summer (I am definitely one them!), so tire safety needs to be on that list of yours. Yes, I know you have one—and if you can fit in a Target run, you have time to get your tires checked before a long drive! Click here to schedule an appointment for a free tire check at one of Bridgestone’s Firestone Complete Auto Care locations.
- For more information about tire care and maintenance, go to TireSafety.com. This site is run by Bridgestone and has all the information you need to understand how to properly maintain your tires.