LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Take a drive down any high-traffic roadway and you'll probably see shredded tires. And one likely culprit? The extreme Texas heat.
"Heat is tires' worst enemy," said Mark Cook, the owner of Cook Tire & Service Center.
And because of increased temperatures, Cook says simply driving your car with no maintenance is not the way to go.
"The summer heat waves that we're experiencing right now, it's real important that the customers be aware of the impact of the heat on their lives," Cook said.
Those were words Jimmy Kirkwood experienced firsthand. He was heading to Houston but instead found himself on the side of the road.
"The heat will make it collapse, make that inside wall collapse," Kirkwood said.
And what about the green cap on some tires? It's more than just an added pop of color, it's purpose could ensure you're not the next victim of a blowout.
"Nitrogen tire inflation is a real benefit for people that live in the East Texas region because we have such dramatic temperature fluctuation. Your tire will run cooler with nitrogen than it will with regular air," Cook said. "For every 10-degree change in ambient temperature outside, you can expect a 2-percent change in the air pressure on your tire."
And nitrogen minimizes that change. With no relief from the extreme heat in store, you're likely to see more motorists with tires falling victim to the heat and that Kirkwood offers this advice.
"If you happen to see someone stranded on the side of the road in this type of heat, pass it forward and give a person a hand," Kirkwood said.
Experts says preventative maintenance is key. Check your tire pressure often and keep them properly inflated.