Of all of the preventable risks that can lead to a car accident, properly maintaining and changing tires when needed may very well be one of the most effective. Tire treads are designed to help cars maintain grip on the road, channeling water away and helping provide grip even in snowy or icy conditions.
The dangers involved with worn tires can include losing control of vehicles which can often result in a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as 50 percent of vehicles on the nation's roadways have at least one tire that has half-worn tread and another 10 percent have at least one bald tire, posing a danger both to the drivers of those vehicles as well as motorists around them on the road.
Although tires are not considered to be bald until the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch deep, tires that have not yet reached that depth provide significantly reduced traction in rain or snow. People may end up suddenly hydroplaning, losing control and then colliding into other vehicles. According to a Consumer Reports study, people driving with half-worn tread take a significantly greater distance to brake, leading to many accidents in which the required braking distance is misjudged as a result.
Most people are aware that a car accident can result in life-altering personal injuries to those who are involved. Drivers owe a duty of care to drive with caution and to appropriately maintain their vehicles. Doing so can reduce the risk to both the drivers as well as to others who are traveling near them. People who are seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another motorist may want to consider filing a personal injury civil lawsuit for the recovery of available damages.
Source: Consumer Reports, "How safe are worn tires?", April 2014