Worn Tires A Serious Threat On Texas Roads
You’re driving on a wet road when you have to stop suddenly. You hit the brakes. Your car skids and then skids some more. While you can see the accident unfolding before your eyes, you are powerless to stop it. Nothing is wrong with your brakes. You weren’t speeding. The problem? Your tires.
According to a new AAA study, tires are often overlooked as a factor when it comes to accidents on slick roadways, which amount to 800,000 each year. The study finds the standards set by manufacturers and states – often waiting until tread depth reaches 2/32” to replace tires – are inadequate. AAA believes tires should be replaced when tread depth reaches 4/32”. Even at that depth, when compared to new tires, AAA research found:
- An average increased stopping distance of 87 feet for a passenger car and 86 feet for a light truck. This distance is more than the length of a semi-trailer truck.
- A 33 percent reduction in handling ability for a passenger car, or 28 percent reduction for a light truck.
AAA also makes the following recommendations for driving on wet roadways:
- Avoid using cruise control so you can respond quickly if your vehicle loses traction.
- Reduce speed.
- Avoid hard braking.
- Avoid sharp turns.
- Increase following distance to allow room for sudden stops.
- If your vehicle begins to hydroplane, ease off the accelerator and steer in the direction the vehicle should be traveling. Do not brake, which can cause your vehicle to skid.
Regardless of how carefully you drive, though, you can be the victim of an accident at any time due to the recklessness of other motorists who ignore basic safety, such as paying attention to the dangers of driving on worn tires. Another vehicle may ram into yours because its tires could not bring it to a stop in time. It could happen at a stop light, an intersection, on the open road – almost anywhere in El Paso County.
As a result, you could be dealing with major injuries that have turned your life upside down. You may be out of work and unable to support your family while medical bills pile up. Dealing with an insurance company adds to your troubles. They know your situation and will try to pressure you into accepting a financial settlement that, while tempting because you are desperate, falls far short of what you need or deserve. At the very worst, you are suffering from the trauma of losing a loved one.
Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1983 with a bachelor of business administration, majoring in accounting. He received his juris doctorate degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio. Michael has successfully handled countless cases of medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, and nursing home negligence. He enjoys helping people “get their lives back in order” by providing high-quality legal representation and compassionate customer service.