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Why "4 and 8" is better than "10 and 2", and other news

Many thanks to all 31 attendees for joining us to our 55-Alive Defensive Driving Class.  The Washington Oakes provided a beautiful setting and a delicious meal, and instructor Joey Amposta tought us many safety tips and interesting tidbits that are important to know for all of us:

– Do you remember the common instruction to place your hands in the “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” position on the steering wheel?  Well, that is no longer recommended. “4 and 8” is the new “10 and 2”.  Why?  Because the “4 o’clock and 8 o’clock” hand position keeps your wrists and arms out of harm’s way if the airbag deploys.

– Tires have an expiration date, and regardless of the tread, they should be replaced if they are 6 years or older.  Tires are now may out of neoprene, not rubber, and they are subject to sudden failure if they are too old.

The key to safety is that every tire has a date on it…..look on the side wall for a series of numbers beginning with ‘DOT’.  The last three digits represent the week and the year the tire was manufactured.  So, a number like DOT 9F9 270 would mean that the tire was manufactured in the 27th week of 2000.   

Also, never buy a tire that’s more than a year old.  Often, retailers have old tires in stock, so make the seller show you the age of the tire.   Also, check the age of the tire even when buying a new car, as the tire could be old.

– Speaking of tires – do you know what the correct tire pressure is on your car?  (Hint: There is a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door.)  Keep in mind:  ALWAYS check the tire pressure when the tire is COLD.   Don’t drive long distances without checking your tire pressure and refilling air if necessary.

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