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Heat wave warnings. Photo by Duke Snider.

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES, ON) – As a summer heat wave descends upon Ontario, drivers should ensure that they have adequately prepared their vehicles, and themselves.

There are more tire problems in hot weather than any other time of year. The main cause of catastrophic tire failure is excessive heat. This is typically caused by low air pressure. Tires can lose air pressure due to punctures, leaky valves, corroded wheels, age, and impact.

It is important that drivers regularly visually inspect tires, and check inflation pressures are maintained to manufacturer’s specification. Tire pressures must be checked “cold” with a gauge. You can’t guess the pressure by appearance!

*Do NOT over-inflate tires in an attempt to increase fuel mileage. This greatly reduces the tire “footprint” size on the road, increasing stopping distance, and will contribute to loss of control in turns & lane changes. Over-inflation may also cause immediate catastrophic failure.

Car trouble is inconvenient in your driveway, but is potentially life-threatening on 400 Series Highways. Drivers should also regularly check rubber belts, hoses, and all fluid levels. *Never remove pressurized coolant caps on a hot engine!

Make sure your own fluid levels are up too! Keep hydrated, and always have some bottled water with you. In winter we recommend keeping appropriate clothing/supplies with you “just in case”. In summer we again recommend bringing protection from the weather: sunscreen, hats, umbrella, and raincoats.

Road Rage also occurs more frequently in hot weather. ALWAYS keep your cool. If you witness another driver doing something dangerous, do not retaliate. Call police on 911.

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