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When should I change my tires?

| Feb 14, 2019 | Firm News |

Does it seem like your car isn’t handling very well in the rain? Can you remember the last time you changed your tires?

Just the same as a car needs an oil change and a wash every now and then, changing the tires on your car is essential to keep your car running smoothly.

Tire wear

There’s no rule of thumb for exactly how long you should wait to change your tires. Instead, it depends on the condition of them.

Those who drive at a slow speed on smooth surfaces over short distances are less likely to wear down their tires than someone who drives more frequently, faster or/and on rough surfaces.

As the tread of your tire wears away, the grooves won’t be as deep. This keeps the tire from gripping to the road in wet conditions. To avoid hydroplaning and being involved in an accident, you should replace your tires once the depth is worn down to about 4/32 inches.

The penny test

Instead of getting out your ruler to measure the depth of your tires, you can use the penny test as an indication of when it’s time to replace your tires.

The penny test works like this. Place a penny into your tire with the top of Abe Lincoln’s head pointing down into the tread groove. If you can see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, the tread has been worn down too much — you need new tires. If the tread is high enough to cover the top of Abe’s head, your tires are in good condition and don’t need to be replaced just yet.

Why replacements matter

If your tires are due for replacement and you’re not able to get the job taken care of yet, try to avoid driving in the rain. You should also avoid other slippery conditions on the road, such as gravel, oil or sand. These conditions could cause your vehicle to lose traction and spin out.

When your vehicle hydroplanes or spins out, a major accident can result since you’re not able to control your vehicle. If you are caught in this situation, steer in the direction of the skid to regain control.

But, if you find yourself in this situation with another driver, there may not be much you can do to protect yourself. That’s why it’s important to call an attorney any time after an accident to help prove your case.