Unfortunately, all too many people are driving around on defective tires, which can put you, your vehicle and your family in danger.
Whatever car you drive, the tires are an integral part of the equation. Unfortunately, all too many people are driving around on defective tires, which can put you, your vehicle and your family in danger. Serious accidents, such as tire blowouts can occur if you are relying on a defective tire. Along with ensuring that your tires are in good condition through the penny test, it is important to understand exactly how defective tires are putting you at risk as well as how to spot them before you're in an accident.
What Happens When a Defective Tire Fails
To put it shortly, the most prevalent danger risk brought about by defective tires is a tire blowout. Although most people are familiar with the idea of a tire blowout, few understand exactly what happens. Sudden loss of air pressure in the tire means that the tire explodes or falls apart and can no longer support the weight of the vehicle, particularly while it is moving along at high speeds. Maintaining control of any vehicle after a tire blowout is a challenge, and it can cause serious and even fatal accidents like rollovers or roof crushes.
Unfortunately, a whopping 8,000 accidents happen each year that are directly related to tire blowouts. Defective tires cause many of these accidents, and they could seriously jeopardize your health and safety. In August of 2014 in Caldwell County, Texas, a GMC Yukon suffered a tire blowout while driving on the highway. In a split second, the vehicle veered off the road and rolled more than once, trapping several passengers inside and killing two. Sadly, this is not an anomaly, as defective tires can cause similar tire blowouts throughout the country.
How to Spot a Defective Tire
Preventing a tire blowout from causing an accident for you and your family starts with learning how to spot a defective tire. One of the most common defects is an old tire. Note that old is not the same as used, although many people confuse the two. An old tire may have never driven a single mile attached to a vehicle, but it could still be several years old and no longer in the best condition to withstand the rigors of the road. Just a few of the warning signs of an old or defective tire include the following:
- Shallow treads
- Uneven wear on the tire
- Hard rubber that looks dried out
- Exposed threads
Your final way to spot a defective aged tire is to look for the DOT number. Every tire manufactured in the United States has to have a string of numbers per regulations by the Department of Transportation. On the side of your tire, look for a long string of numbers, and follow along until the final four digits. These four digits indicate the date of the tire's manufacture, with the first two digits indicating the week and the final two digits indicating the year. That means a tire that reads 0508 would have been made in the fifth week of 2008, or roughly the beginning of February of that year.
Don't put yourself or your loved ones at risk by driving on a defective tire. Take steps to identify if your tire is defective and take action right away to reduce your risk and protect against tire blowouts and other accidents.