The Top Reasons Why Old and Worn Tires Cause Accidents

The Top Reasons Why Old and Worn Tires Cause Accidents

The tires on your vehicle are the only point of contact between you and the road. The entire weight of your vehicle is distributed on these contact patches measuring roughly 35-38 square inches per tire. Between all four tires, this is a relatively small space. A new car has tires that are properly inflated and have full tread life. Although tires are critically important to a car, they are frequently neglected or overlooked aspects of vehicle maintenance. Take a look in any parking lot and you will see tires that are badly worn. Old and worn tires can lead to accidents.

Underinflated Tires

Just because your tires may have a good amount of tread life left does not mean that they are safe to drive on. Tires that are underinflated result in more surface area contact on the road. While that may seem like a good thing, the opposite is actually true. Because there is more contact area with the road, the tires are exposed to additional friction that causes overheating. Overheated tires wear out quicker than properly inflated tires. Overheated tires can also cause tread separation and blowouts. In addition to this, underinflated tires result in poor handling, diminished braking performance, and poorer gas mileage. Additional stress is placed on the chassis as the car turns into corners, and brake components will need to work harder to make the car stop.

Worn Treads

The easiest way to see if your tires are good is to take a look at the treads. A good test to determine proper tread wear is to take a penny and insert it head-first into the tread grooves. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tires should be replaced. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, the tires still have good tread life.

Cracking and Bulging

Old tires tend to crack and bulge along the sidewall. Large cracks along the sidewall that runs parallel to the wheel are either caused by impacts or from under-inflation. If you see many small cracks in the sidewall or tread blocks, this is a result of exposure to harsh elements or old age.

The Lasting Effects

It goes without saying that old and worn tires are extremely dangerous. Even in good weather conditions, worn tires and overheat and blow out. If this happens, you not only need to replace the tire, but you might also be facing expensive repair costs if the rotors or other parts of the suspension and chassis are damaged. In poor weather conditions such as rain or snow, lack of tread means reduced grip. Traveling in the rain or snow with old and worn tires is one of the most dangerous things you can do. By proactively checking on your tire health and replacing old or worn tires, you are not only preventing injury to yourself but also injury to others. You will also save money in repairs as an added bonus! If you would like an expert opinion on the state of your tires, please don’t hesitate to contact us today and speak to one of our tire specialists.

Written by Jim Boudreau’s Automotive Service Center