The danger that unsafe tires can pose
February 16, 2015
With the heavy snowfalls that often occur in the northeast part of the country, New Jersey residents may rely on the state of their tires to keep them safe while traveling on the state’s roads. However, not all drivers are as concerned over the condition of their tires as they should be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half of 11,500 vehicles examined were found with one or more tires in which the treads were worn down by half, and roughly 1,000 of those motorists had one or more completely worn tire.
The report found that tires with only half of their treads significantly lose the ability to grip the road in rainy and snowy weather conditions. Therefore, on wet surfaces, it takes longer for the vehicle to stop, increasing the chances for hydroplaning to take place. While treadless tires, called slicks, may be appropriate for race drivers on dry surfaces, they can spell danger for the average driver on public roads.
Vehicles will not pass an inspection if the treads on any of its tires measure 2/32 inches in depth or less. Tires at this measurement cannot grab hold of snow-covered pavement. Moreover, on rainy surfaces, decreased grooves mean tires cannot divert water, causing the vehicle to hydroplane or aquaplane. Drivers in this situation lose the ability to control their vehicle and may cause a car accident.
Motorists who drive with balding tires may be held liable if they cause an auto wreck in which another motorist is injured or killed. By law, motorists are required to abide by a standard of care while driving; the injured party involved in the crash could hold the negligent driver liable for damages. Plaintiffs who succeed in such cases are commonly awarded compensation for their subsequent losses such as medical expenses and property damage.