Your tires may be something you rarely ever think about. So long as they get you where you are going, and you do not have a flat, it can be easy to ignore your tires. Driving on bad tires poses not only a threat to your safety, it can be an accident waiting to happen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study which found that more than one-fourth of all car crashes involved a vehicle with insufficient tread. To determine how much tread is left on your vehicle, use the “penny test.” If you insert a penny into the tread groove of your tire (with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you), then if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 1/16th of an inch—it is time to replace your tires.
Avoid Driving on Older Tires
Even if the tread on your tires is fine, it is just as dangerous to drive on old tires. In other words, even if you do not drive enough to wear out the tread on your tires, if your car spends years just sitting in your garage, the tires could be dangerous. Many car makers recommend replacing tires six years from the date of manufacture, although others extend that time to eight years. This is the main reason buying used tires is not recommended; you have no way of knowing how old the tire is, and how it was driven. When a tire is older, the tread can separate from the tire, causing your vehicle to careen out of control, possibly ending in an accident. In fact, following a 2013 high-profile accident in which actor Paul Walker was killed, it was determined that the actor’s Porsche Carrera GT had nine-year old tires on it—a fact which could have compromised the handling and drivability of the vehicle and contributed to the crash.
Other Factors Which Influence the Safety of a Tire
While age is certainly a factor in the safety of a tire, there are other factors as well, including heat, storage, underinflation, and how the tires are used. Tires age more quickly in warmer, coastal climates—those who live in coastal states with warm weather should check their tires more often. While a tire which is just sitting in a tire shop is not aging as quickly as if it is on a vehicle, it is still aging. Underinflation causes more wear to a tire, therefore if you consistently drive with underinflated tires, your tires are aging more quickly than properly inflated tires. In the end, it is extremely important that you have your tires checked often in order to ensure they are safe to drive on.
Contact Our New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and you believe that defective tires were to blame, you may have cause to file a claim. To learn more about your rights, call the Vineland, New Jersey car accident attorneys at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Contact us at (856) 692-6500 or fill out our confidential contact form and someone will call you back immediately. Our office is conveniently located in Vineland, New Jersey and we are ready to help you through this difficult time.