These days, having a vehicle is essential. While online shopping, working from home, virtual school, and on-demand grocery deliveries make going out less of a necessity than it once was, everyone needs to leave the house at some point. Ridesharing is certainly an option, but it only goes so far, and the cost can add up significantly over time. Because of that, 280 million people in America take to the roadways in their own vehicles, and they have the freedom to go where they want or need to whenever the need happens to arise.
Keeping Up with the Responsibilities of Vehicle Ownership
Owning a vehicle offers numerous advantages. Of course, it also comes with certain responsibilities and expenses. For one, you’re legally required to maintain at least minimal insurance coverage at all times. Secondly, it’s important to keep up with vehicle maintenance. Once a year, you have to remember to pay the taxes on the vehicle and put new license plates or decals on it as well.
On top of all that, you’ll need to find new tires from time to time. That last factor is the one many people ignore. Though purchasing new tires and having them mounted and balanced takes time and money, it’s an essential factor all vehicle owners must keep in mind. Otherwise, going out on the roadways could be a dangerous experience for several reasons.
1) No Traction on Icy Roads
Driving on ice- and snow-covered roads can be hazardous no matter what types of tires you have or how new they may be. Still, driving on bald tires is even riskier. Tread provides much-needed traction on slippery roads, which helps keep your vehicle where it needs to be. If there’s little or no tread on the tires, you won’t have the traction you need to stay on the road.
2) Reduced Traction on Wet Roads
In most cases, driving in the rain is fairly safe as long as you slow down to accommodate the weather. That being said, worn tires make it much more dangerous. Again, tread gives you added traction. At the same time, it gives the water channels to flow through as your vehicle travels over it. Having little tread to work with increases your chances of hydroplaning and reduces your ability to stop on wet roadways.
3) Low Air Pressure
Worn-out tires lose air pressure more quickly than newer ones. Low air pressure makes your vehicle more difficult to steer and keep under control. It can also make sudden stops more difficult than they would be otherwise. You might end up sliding into the vehicle in front of you or other obstacles in the way if you’re driving on bald tires. This is true even when the road is dry.
4) Increased Friction
Tires are designed to create a certain amount of friction between vehicles and the road. In turn, tread helps control the amount of friction and regulate the heat it creates. If your tires are worn out and have little tread, they create too much friction and can’t regulate heat properly. As such, they’re more likely to blow out and cause a serious accident.
5) Increased Risk of Damage
Newer tires can handle all the typical hurdles on the roads, like potholes and pieces of debris. If your tires are old and worn, they can’t hold up to those hazards as well as they once did. A pothole or piece of metal in the road that a good tire could easily roll over might be enough to puncture a worn-out tire.
Those are the most common and serious dangers of driving on worn tires. It’s important to replace your tires as needed to keep yourself, your passengers, and others on the roads safe while driving. Though replacing tires comes at a cost, the cost of not doing so could be much steeper.