'Road gators' begin to pop up around southern AZ as weather heats up

'Road gators' begin to pop up around southern AZ as weather heats up
'Road gators' begin to pop up around Southern Arizona

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - When that summer sun beats down on Arizona roads, the need to routinely check your car heats up. As you drive, there's something lurking on the highways, "gators".

However it isn't reptiles we are talking about, but tire blowouts and these 'gators' have begun popping up more frequently on southern AZ roads.

While this can be a hassle for drivers, hitting a road gator could do some serious damage, as well.

Richard Kandberg stopped to fill up his rental car's tires with air after road tripping across the state.

"Just trying to get rid of the warning light on the car," he said.

It's a small routine maintenance before or after any trip, but some people like Tori Robinson take it that extra mile.

"Tires are rotated every 5,000 miles. I check the air once a week," he said.

Robinson said it's all about paying attention. When he hits the road, he's on the lookout for others. He told Tucson News Now he steers clear of semis and trailers.

"I watch for them. I'm looking for them. I see people pulling trailers that have flat spots in the tires," he said.

Taking that extra time is a small price to pay to avoid an even bigger problem, hitting a shredded tire.

Terry Newman, owner of Rita Ranch Automotive & Tire told us, "I have seen where it has ruptured transmission lines, coolant lines, brakes."

Every day, Newman sees people come in to get their tires checked or fixed and he recommends getting tires checked once a month, especially during the summer.

That might mean more frequent trips to the air compressor. Newman said it's better to be proactive than reactive. It could save people time and money in the long run.

A lot of tire treads are moved to the side of the road by the Department of Public Safety, making them a little less of a hazard.  Officials say be on the lookout just in case.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.