The safety hazards of worn tires

Most areas of Florida get quite a bit of precipitation, and drivers throughout the state are often confronted with rain-slicked roads. A tire that has been worn down may increase the chances of an accident when driving on roads that are so affected. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 50 percent of 11,500 cars, trucks and SUVs checked in a recent study had worn or bald tires. Tires are considered to be bald or balding when they reach a depth of 2/32 of an inch.

On rainy roads, the tire’s grooves are not deep enough at that point to channel water in an effective manner. Although the state gets very little snow, little grooves in the tire called sipes help provide a car with extra traction on a snowy road. When a tire gets to half tread depth, it can take an average of 12 feet longer to accelerate to 20 miles per hour.

Conversely, tires with little or no tread actually do better on performance testing on dry pavement. However, those who understand the impact that tires have on performance say that this is rarely an acceptable trade-off. In most cases, a tire will last for 25,000 to 40,000 miles before it reaches it half tread level. Drivers can gauge how much tread is left by looking at the wear bars on the tire.

Those who suffer injuries in a car accident may file a personal injury lawsuit. It may be possible for drivers, pedestrians or passengers who have been hurt in a crash to win compensation for medical bills and other costs. Victims who are unable to work may be able to obtain additional compensation for lost wages or future earnings. Working with a personal injury attorney may increase the odds of getting an appropriate recovery.

Source: Consumer Reports, “How safe are worn tires?”, April 2014