As most California drivers know, worn tires on a motor vehicle may lead to accidents. While accidents may occur on dry roads, tires with heavy wear are especially hazardous. This may create braking problems on wet or snowy pavement and may cause an increased risk of hydroplaning. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a study conducted on 11,500 vehicles, half of those examined showed half-worn tread, while another 1,150 exhibited a minimum of one tire that was considered bald. Checking a vehicle’s tires for worn tread may prevent accidents, and it is suggested by many experts that tires be checked on a monthly basis.

Horizontal bars placed in tire grooves by manufacturers make it easier to check if a tire is worn. The horizontal bars are placed so that when the top of the bar is even with the the tread around it, a consumer knows the tire should be replaced to prevent a car accident.

Shallow tread on a tire may allow water to stay underneath instead of exiting through tread grooves. This trapped water under a tire may cause hydroplaning, and the faster a motorist drives, the greater the risk. Additionally, during wet weather, worn tires may interfere with braking and cause the vehicle to require one to two yards more to stop even with anti-lock brakes engaged. Half-tread tires may work better on dry pavement because of the additional surface area.

Motorists have a responsibility to maintain their vehicles properly to avoid accidents. An individual injured in an accident with another driver who did not properly maintain his or her vehicle may face lost time at work and medical expenses. It may be useful to speak to an attorney about the possibility of recovering the damages.

Source: Consumer Reports, “How safe are worn tires?”, accessed on Feb. 6, 2015