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Ask a Trooper: Is a cruiser tire 'consumer twin' available?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Trooper

Question: I want to purchase tires for my vehicle that are the best available for ice and snow and wet traction. I know they will be expensive, but I will leave them on year-round. Is there a tire available that is a consumer twin to what you have on your cruisers?

Answer: Making sure your tires have plenty of tread is extremely important, especially during winter conditions. The Minnesota State Patrol uses a winter tire, and we suggest that you check with your local dealer or mechanic for the best tire that fits your vehicle.

As a trooper, I understand the importance and value of using a proper tire. Staying on the highway comes down to a number of factors, but the most important is driving according to the conditions and using good common sense.

Some advice on tires:

• Check tread depth. Tires with a tread depth of one-sixteenth of an inch or less are unsafe. Place a penny head first into the tread grooves. If you see the top of Lincoln's head, you need new tires.

• Check for cuts, bulges and exposed ply or cord. These conditions can cause blowouts.

• Check tire pressure with a tire gauge. Tires can be as much as 50 percent under-inflated before it is visibly noticeable.

In my career, I investigated far too many preventable injury and fatal crashes where unsafe tires were a contributing factor in a crash.

Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained with effective windshield wiper blades, all the lights are working and used when needed and make sure that your tires have enough tread depth and pressure to keep you from losing control of your vehicle while driving.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow me on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach me at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us.

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