Rainy afternoons are the norm across Tampa Bay in the summertime but for many motorists, this could be extremely treacherous due to an unlikely suspect – tires. The latest research from AAA reveals that driving on relatively worn tires at highway speeds in wet conditions can increase average stopping distances by an additional 43 percent – or 87 feet – more than the length of a semi-trailer truck – when compared to new tires.
It is important to remember that tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. Tires are what keep a vehicle connected to the road and even the most advanced safety systems rely on a tire’s basis ability to maintain traction. And the less tread your tires have, the higher the probability they could hydroplane and completely lose contact with the road in wet conditions.
Under Florida law, the minimum tread depth is 2/32 of an inch before you are required to replace you tired. Unfortunately, this jeopardizes driver safety and you should replace your tire once the tread depth reaches 4/32” of an inch because at this point, stopping distances have already begun to deteriorate significantly.
Testing Your Tread
So how do you know if your tires are worn to the point of needing replacement? Well to measure out to 4/32’ of an inch you want to slip a quarter into the tire tread grooves with Washington’s head facing down — if you can see the top of his head, it’s time to start shopping for new tires. Don’t get confused with the adage of using a penny, that won’t give you the new minimum recommended tread depth of 4/32’ of an inch.
Slipping and Sliding
In wet conditions, tires can completely lose contact with the road and skid, also known as hydroplaning. The depth of a tire’s tread plays a significant role: the lower the tread depth, the more likely a car will hydroplane
To help navigate slick conditions, the following precautions should be followed:
Do not use cruise control, slow down and avoid hard braking and sharp turns.
Slow down and avoid braking and making sharp turns
If possible, follow in the tire tracks of other cars where water has been partially cleared away.
Increase following distances to provide extra room should a sudden stop become necessary. If the car begins to hydroplane, ease off the accelerator to slow down. Don’t jam on the brakes because this could cause a skid and loss of vehicle control. If the rear of the car begins to slide sideways, steer smoothly in the direction the vehicle should be going until traction is regained.
For more information, please read the fact sheet here AAA Tire Study Fact Sheet.
Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorneys
The Tampa Bay car accident lawyers at SouthShore Injury Attorneys know how important it is to preserve and inspect evidence such as tires to help determine if the contributed to an accident. Our car accident attorneys have years of experience helping those who were injured by another driver’s negligence.
If you or a loved one have been injured in Tampa Bay our Car Accident lawyers are available to assist you around the clock. Contact Us as soon as possible for a Free Consultation so we can