How to Read and Inspect Your Tires | Tire Education for the Average Consumer
Driving with worn out tires with little to no tread can be dangerous, illegal and is just not worth the risk. Doing so increases your chance of hydroplaning out of control on a wet road.
Most new passenger car tires have tread depths of 8 – 12/32nd’s of an inch. In many states the minimum required legal tread depth is 2/32nd’s of an inch.
A tread depth gauge is the preferred method of measuring tread depth, but if you don’t have one handy all you need is a penny. To check the tread depth of your tires insert the penny in the tread groove top first. If the tread does not touch Lincoln’s head on the penny, then your tires are worn below 2/23nds of an inch and should be replaced.
Tread depth below 2/32 nd’s of an inch limits the ability of the tire to evacuate water under the tires “foot print”, the rectangular patch of the tire that is in contact with the road. Once the footprint loses contact with the road the ability to steer and brake the car is lost and for the most part you are just along for the ride.
Therefore, it is important that you do not neglect the condition of your tires and are aware of what steps you need to take to ensure that your tires are safe.
While checking the tread depth of your tires also check the inflation pressure to be sure the tire contains the recommended pressure listed on the vehicle placard or manufacturer’s label that is usually installed on the driver’s door jam. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that tire pressure should be checked once a month.
In addition to pressure and tread depth tires should also be regularly checked for any abnormalities including uneven wear, bulges, cuts, or anything that may be piercing the tire, such as a nail or screw.
Remember your tires are the only parts of the vehicle that actually touch the road and as a result you are dependent on them being in good condition to steer and stop.
At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, we have a team of car accident lawyers who are there for you when these unfortunate accidents occur. If you have suffered damages due to the negligence of another driver, give us a call at 561-899-2100 for a free consultation.