Being Bald This Season Could Be Dangerous

The dropping temperatures and gray, rainy days do more than curb our ability to spend time outside -- they can cause driving risks. Stopping on wet roads can take up to four times the normal distance. And if tires are worn, they can hydroplane, or skim over the surface of the road with little or no traction.

To reduce these risks, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) reminds drivers to check their vehicle's tires as part of regular seasonal maintenance. According to RMA research, two out of three drivers don't know how to tell if their tires are bald.

"Bald tires are dangerous," says Donald B. Shea, RMA President and CEO. "A bald tire is not going to grip the road properly, which means you won't be able to control your vehicle as you ought to."

RMA offers these tips to make sure your tires have optimal tread and keep you safer this fall.

  • Check Your Groove. The tread grooves of your tires bear examining to make sure they're free of foreign objects. Also check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.
  • Examine Your Tires' "Wear Bars." Visibly high, low or unusually smooth areas on your tires could signal uneven wear. Built-in tread wear indicators, or "wear bars," are like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread. They will appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch. When you see these wear bars, the tire is worn out and should be replaced.
  • Put a Penny to Good Use. See if you're driving with the proper amount of tread by performing the penny test: Place a penny into a tread groove on your tires with Abe Lincoln's head pointed down. If you can see all of his head, it's time for a new tire.

"Properly maintained tires can keep you safer and will help your car perform better," continues Shea. "Don't put off simple yet critical tire maintenance."

Courtesy of ARA Content