Special Report: Tracking your Tires - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Report: Tracking your Tires

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Your car tires can often make the difference between a full stop and a crash, but how do you know when it's time to trade those treads?

As we zoom from place to place, from home to work or vacation, the care for our most used mode of transportation can often slip our minds.

"There's already a lot of hazards when it comes to driving and irresponsible drivers," said Shatoria Holley, auto owner. "So, I feel like your tires need to be taken care of."

As tire tread wears, especially on rain soaked highways, it becomes harder for your tires to stop, sliding into a serious problem.

"When it gets down to 3/32nds or more, there will be a wear bar that will form that will expose itself to tell you and that's normally what DOT regulations are," said George Mitchell, Bill Thompson Tire Service Manager.

Studies show many of us often drive with at least one bald tire, but now, thankfully, we can turn to technology.

For years, drivers have been using a penny trick as an indicator by placing Lincoln face down in the tread. If the president's head is fully visible, it's probably past the time to get new tires.

"Newer cars are coming with an anti-traction light that will come on and that means the tires are below specification," said Mitchell. "So, it's not tracking to the road good. We don't need bad tires on the road."

"It's all about new technology. It makes everyone safe on the road," said Ortega Crawford, Tire Technician. "It saves lives. It really saves lives."

That includes one new invention, that'll make a worn tire hard to miss.

As the tread gets lower, a bright orange rubber shines through, alerting not only the driver but comes as a warning to other motorists passing by.

"Technology now, they've got everything that will warn ya before it happens and that's a good thing," said  Freddie Walker, Bill Thompson Tire customer.

"I would invest in the product though," said Holley.

But until it becomes available for drivers to purchase in the United States, there's one rule of thumb we can stick to.

"They should always have them rotated every 5,000 miles and they should have a tread measurement done every 5,000 miles when they get their tires rotated," said Mitchell.

To give ourselves, our family members, and others a better chance for safe travels.

Tire tread can also wear down quicker and more uneven if other factors aren't checked out. Motorists are encouraged to be aware of things like air pressure or wheel alignment.

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