Bald Tires & When to Change Tires

When it comes to tires, bald isn't beautiful-it's downright dangerous. Bald tires increase the risk of a crash, especially in bad weather. And the frightening truth is that more than 1 out of every 10 vehicles on the road has at least one bald tire.

What Is a Bald Tire?

The part of a tire that contacts the road is called the tread, and this tread wears down over time. When a tire's tread is completely worn down to the wear bars, you have a bald tire. And if your vehicle has bald tires, you need new tires right away-driving on bald tires is not safe.

Worn Tires Are Dangerous

When it rains, the grooves in a tire help channel water away so the tire can maintain contact with the road. This helps reduce the chance of hydroplaning. But the grooves on a worn tire tread are too shallow to effectively evacuate water from beneath the tire. Driving on bald tires in rain can result in anything from difficulty stopping to a complete loss of vehicle control.

Driving on bald tires in snow is risky too. A tire's tread pattern-including sipes- gives it a bunch of biting edges that help it dig into snow. A bald tire loses these edges and makes it harder to both start and stop your vehicle.

Even on dry roads, bald tires are more prone to tire failure and more easily punctured. It's not hard to see why-a bald tire is literally thinner at the tread than a new tire, so it's easier for a nail or other object to cause a flat tire.

Worn out tires can make any drive perilous. If you're wondering when to change tires, it's a very good idea to get rid of your worn tires before they contribute to a collision. Too many people wait to buy new tires until they're driving on bald tires in rain and realizing their wheels are spinning. Don't postpone something as important as safety.

When are Tires Worn Out?

If your tires are worn down to the tire wear bars, you have bald tires and need to buy new ones as soon as possible. But even a partially worn tire is risky. Worn tires can cause a reduction in your ability to stop as quickly as you need to. Even a half worn tire tread can increase your stopping distance by several car lengths.

Using a tread depth gauge is one of the most accurate ways to determine when to change tires. But if you don't have one handy, all you need is a quarter:

  • Insert a quarter head first into one of the grooves on your tire.
  • If you can see the top of Washington's head, it's time to find new tires.

Don't let worn tires ruin your drive. Driving on bald tires is dangerous, so replace your worn out tires before they cause an accident. Buying new tires is an investment in your safety, and it's a much better use of money than needing to unexpectedly fork over cash for an insurance deductible.

Don't wait until you have a bald tire. Help renew your vehicle's safety today. RightTurn helps you get the right tires for your vehicle as well as your personal driving needs.