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How to Avoid Collisions by Checking Your Tire Tread

By JJ Gouin

Tire Tread & Fender Benders

One of the most common causes of collisions is poor tire tread. When your tires don't have enough tire tread, they can't grip the road as well, which can lead to accidents. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this. By regularly checking your tire tread and keeping an eye out for warning signs, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe on the road. 

How to Check Your Tire Tread

It's important to check your tire tread regularly, especially if you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow.

There are a few different ways to do this

  • One way is to use a tire tread depth gauge.
  • You can purchase a Tire Depth Gauge at most auto parts stores. Insert the gauge into the tread and see how deep it is. The deeper the tread, the better. 
  • Another way to check your tire tread is by doing the "penny test."
  • Take a penny and insert it into the tread headfirst. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, then your tread is less than 2/32" deep, and you need new tires. If you can only see part of his head, then your tread is between 2/32" and 4/32" deep—which means it's time to start shopping for new tires soon.
  • If you're unsure how to check your tire tread or don't have a depth gauge, you can always take your car to your trusted auto repair center, and they'll be happy to help you. 

Warning Signs that You Need New Tires 

In addition to regularly checking your tire tread, it's essential to be on the lookout for signs that you need new tires.

If you notice any of the following, it's time for new tires: 

  • Cracks or cuts in the sidewall
  • Excessive vibration when driving
  • Bald spots or excessive wear
  • Tires that are more than two years old 

If you're not sure whether or not you need new tires, err on the side of caution and replace them as soon as possible. It's better to be safe than sorry! 

Common Causes of Collisions (besides Poor Tire Tread) 

Poor tire tread isn't the only cause of collisions—many other factors can contribute.

Some of the most common include: 

  • Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.) 
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • Fatigue  
  • Reckless driving (speeding, tailgating, etc.) 

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance plays a crucial role in ensuring the longevity and safety of your vehicle. Beyond checking tire tread, there are several other maintenance tasks that drivers should prioritize. These include regular oil changes, brake inspections, and keeping fluids topped up. By staying proactive with maintenance schedules, drivers can identify potential issues before they escalate into costly repairs or, worse, accidents on the road.

Tire Replacement Tips

When it comes time to replace your tires, it's essential to make informed decisions to ensure optimal performance and safety. Consider factors such as your typical driving conditions, mileage expectations, and budget constraints. Additionally, explore different tire options, including all-season, performance, or winter tires, to best suit your driving needs. Consulting with a trusted tire professional can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your specific vehicle and driving habits.

The Critical Role of Tires in Vehicle Safety

Tires are often referred to as the only point of contact between a vehicle and the road, emphasizing their paramount importance in ensuring safety and preventing accidents. The condition of your tires directly affects crucial aspects of vehicle performance, including traction, handling, braking, and stability. Here's why tires are crucial for vehicle safety and how they contribute to accident prevention:

Traction is the friction between the tires and the road surface, allowing the vehicle to accelerate, turn, and stop effectively. Adequate tire tread depth is essential for maintaining traction, especially in adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, or ice. Tires with insufficient tread depth are more prone to slipping and losing grip on the road, increasing the risk of accidents, particularly during sudden maneuvers or emergency braking.

Tires play a significant role in vehicle handling, influencing how the car responds to steering inputs and maneuvers. Worn or improperly inflated tires can compromise handling characteristics, leading to decreased stability and control, particularly in challenging driving scenarios such as sharp turns or evasive maneuvers to avoid obstacles. Well-maintained tires with optimal tread depth and proper inflation pressure enhance vehicle stability and responsiveness, reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by loss of control.

Effective braking relies on the ability of tires to generate sufficient friction with the road surface to slow down or stop the vehicle promptly. Tires with worn tread or uneven wear patterns may compromise braking performance, resulting in longer stopping distances and increased risk of rear-end collisions or collisions at intersections. Maintaining proper tire condition and replacing worn tires in a timely manner can enhance braking effectiveness and reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by inadequate stopping distances.

Tires contribute to the overall stability of the vehicle, helping to maintain balance and control, especially during high-speed maneuvers or sudden lane changes. Properly inflated tires with adequate tread depth promote stable handling and prevent incidents such as skidding or hydroplaning, where the tires lose contact with the road surface due to water buildup. Enhanced stability provided by well-maintained tires reduces the risk of rollovers, spin-outs, and other accidents resulting from loss of control.

Give Us A Call!

By being aware of these common causes of collisions, you can help keep yourself safe on the road. 

Poor tire tread is one of the leading causes of collisions—but it's certainly not the only one. By staying alert and watching for warning signs, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe on the roadways. Thanks for reading!

If you need help with collision repair of any kind, contact CARSTAR Robert's Collision in Monterey, CA, today! We can tell you all about how we work hand-in-hand with insurance companies to bring the best collision service we can provide! Please schedule an appointment with us today, and see what makes us so unique in the Monterey community!


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