This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of ‘Do I Need a Lawyer?’ hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.
If you have a question you would like for me to answer, or if you would like to speak with me regarding a potential claim, please pick up the phone and give us a call right now.
The number is on the screen – and so is my email address – Gary@garymartinhays.com.
My firm specializes in personal injury and wrongful death claims.
In fact, we have helped over 33,000 families in Georgia and throughout the southeast.
My law firm is here to help when tragedy strikes.
But one thing I’d like to do is try to prevent these horrible accidents from ever occurring.
So please allow me a few minutes to talk about an important issue that effects everyone that owns and operates a vehicle.
I want to cover some critical factors regarding tire safety.
In the US, we do not have any law that prevents anyone from selling a tire because of its age.
Some states have laws that require drivers to have their tires examined to check the tread wire., but no state checks a tire to see how old it is.
And this is why it’s important: A tire has a life of approximately six (6) years.
Because the rubber in the tires will start to degrade and dry out. This make the tire more prone to have a blow out or have the tread separate from the tire causing disastrous results.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells us that a tire that is six (6) years of age or older has a substantially increased chance of the tread separating.
It’s interesting that the tire companies have known this for years but they have successfully fought efforts to have expiration dates placed on the tires.
And – I promise you that most tire companies will not hand you a brochure about their tires that warns you about the dangers of driving on an old tire.
So what can you do?
There is no stamp on the tire that clearly states “This tire expires on : (insert date here).”
Let me give you an industry secret:
The tire industry hides the date on the sidewall of the tire.
Take a look at the sidewall.
Try and find a code that starts with the letters DOT. The letters DOT will be followed by a manufacturer’s code.
The LAST four digits in this manufacturer’s code is the key you are looking for to find the date of manufacture.
These digits represent the week and the year the tire was made.
The last for digits are 1912.
The tire was manufactured in the 19th week of 2012.
So I encourage you. Take a look at your tires. Check the born on date – and get new tires if they are approaching or over 6 years of age – even if the treads are still good.
Please don’t take that risk of experiencing a blow out or the tire tread separating.
Now there’s one other thing I’d like to talk about regarding tire safety and it involves testing the tread on your tires.
If your tires have little or no tread, you run the risk of hydroplaning on a wet road, or simply losing traction when trying to stop. Both situations can result in you losing control of your vehicle and the results can be catastrophic.
So how do you know if your tires have a safe amount of tread?
Use the penny test.
Take a penny and place it into several of the tire’s grooves. If the tread covers any part of Lincoln’s head, you have at least enough tread to run for a few more miles. However, if the tread barely covers the head, it is time to start looking for new tires.
If the head is not covered at all, I beg you – please get new tires immediately. It’s not safe to operate that vehicle on those tires – especially in rainy, wet, or snowy conditions.
So just to recap:
(1) Check the age of your tire.
If it is more than 6 years old – it’s time to replace it – even if the tread is good.
Find the born on date on the sidewall.
The last four digits on the code following the letters DOT represent the week and the year the tire was manufactured.
So if the code is 1912.
It was manufactured in the 19th week of 2012.
(2) Use the penny test to check to see if you have enough tread on your tire.
If any part of the tread covers Lincoln’s head on the penny, you are ok.
If it barely covers or does not cover his head, you need new tires immediately.
I know this is a lot of information – but it’s important information.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (770) 934-8000 or you can check our website at GaryMartinHays.com.
And if you find yourself or a family member or friend injured because of a defective tire, then please – pick up the phone and call us right away.
The call is free, completely confidential, and there is no obligation whatsoever.