81114220 - woman unscrewing nuts on car flat wheel at fieldNothing can turn a good day into a bad one like a flat tire. However, you may be able to help prevent this with some good, old-fashioned maintenance, precautions and knowledge. That said, here are a few tips you should consider adopting into your routine:

1. Check tire pressure.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests using a tire pressure gauge to check each tire on a monthly basis. A lot of drivers prefer to do this before or after they fuel up. Look for the label on the doorjamb or edge of the door on the driver’s side, or consult your car’s manual to determine the ideal pressure. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your pressure year-round. A change of just 10 degrees can adjust the pressure in your tires by 1 psi.

When in doubt, your mechanic can help you ensure things are optimal. Proper tire pressure may also play a role in your car’s fuel efficiency and extend your tires’ lifespan, so you have multiple incentives to keep on this.

2. Rotate tires.
Check your owner’s manual for the specifics, but recommendations often range from every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. This occasion is a great time to inspect the tire for wear and tear, too.

3. Avoid hazards.
Construction zones can be landmines, because sharp rocks, nails, and other hardware can puncture the rubber. Potholes can be hazards, too. If you can, plan your commute around such variables.

4. Watch for recalls.
Tire performance doesn’t always depend on what you do. It’s a good idea to be aware of any manufacturer recalls related to your vehicle and tires. Not sure how to stay informed? The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration provides a tool for peace of mind.

While bad luck sometimes happens, there are some measures you can take for the health of your tires. But should you experience a flat, remember you may be able to call on help.