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Crashes caused by worn tires

Motorists in Connecticut may know that worn tires can increase the risk of being involved in a car accident. Researchers discovered that many tires lose a significant amount of grip by the time they reach the halfway point. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that approximately half the 11,500 vehicles inspected in a test were equipped with at least one half-worn tire, and 10 percent had at least one tire that was bald.

Worn tires may not have grooves deep enough to grip wet roads, which can result in hydroplaning leading to a serious accident. Worn tires have exhibited substandard performance with snow traction and applying the brakes in wet weather. New tires have a groove depth of 10/32 of an inch, and once they reach 2/32 of an inch they are considered to be bald. Tires with groove depth this shallow are likely to flunk a state vehicle inspection and may be classified as a safety risk.

It is recommended that drivers consider replacing tires once their groove depth reaches 4/32 of an inch. Once the tire loses half its tread, its traction performance in the snow and rain may decline significantly. According to most warranties, tired may lose half their tread once they have traveled between 25,000 and 40,000 miles. Researchers discovered that tread worn half way down results in a 15 percent decline in snow traction performance and an 8 percent decline in resistance to hydroplaning.

Anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident attributable to poor maintenance might benefit from discussing the matter with a lawyer who can review the details of the crash and help identify which parties can be held liable for the resulting damages. Damages in a personal injury action can include medical costs, loss of income and repair expenses.

Source: Consumer Reports, "How safe are worn tires?", accessed on Feb. 7, 2015

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