Driving with worn out tires can cause accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), worn out tires are responsible for 11,000 car accidents and 200 fatalities every year in the U.S. As a result, most states have policies regarding the acceptable depth of a tire tread for public safety. In New Jersey, tires with a tread depth of 2/32nds of an inch or greater are legal. But legal does not necessarily mean safe.
The summer weather can make the odds of a blow out or skid even greater as the hot pavement tends to thin rubber. As tires lose their grooves, they become unable to process airflow necessary to cool tires, causing them to break apart. According to AAA/Mid-Atlantic, tire tread should contain at least 4/32nds of an inch depth. Not only is this important to generate cooling air flow over the summer, but when it rains, a lesser tire tread depth can result in skidding.
Everyone knows that seat belts are lifesaving. Airbags are now standard equipment on all new vehicles because it is a simple and relatively inexpensive modification that can safe lives. However, we do not always remember to keep our tires up to par by changing them regularly.
In addition to decreased airflow and skidding out in the rain, worn tires cause a host of other problems. For example, cars with bald tires do not stop as short as cars with tires in good condition. Stopping distances increase the more worn out a tire is.
One popular and easy way to determine whether your tires are safe is called the “Quarter test.” If you take a quarter and insert it in your tread, you should not be able to see all of Washington’s head on the coin. However, this is not always enough to keep your car safe. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated to your manufacturer’s specifications. Check your door panel on the driver’s side for specifications on how much to inflate your tires. If not visible there, the specs are likely listed in your owner’s manual (most people keep this in the glove compartment).
With summer in full force, this is a great time to check your tire tread and tire pressure. It is better to prevent a dangerous blowout than wait until it is too late and you are stranded on the side of the road in extreme heat, or worse.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident because another driver neglected to properly maintain his or her tires, you may be entitled to compensation. From our offices in Edison, Red Bank and Toms River, the New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP advise and represent clients throughout New Jersey. From wherever you are, call our office at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer at an office nearest to you.