WALB Investigates: Dangerous tires - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

WALB Investigates: Dangerous tires

There is a way to tell how old a tire really is. There is a way to tell how old a tire really is.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Do you know how old your tires are?

Not how long they've been on your car, or how many miles you've driven on them, but how long ago they were made?

Safety advocates say old tires are more likely to rip apart while you're driving down the road.

Albany General Tire Service has been selling, changing, and fixing tires for 59 years.

Owner Millie Page says drivers need to check air pressure often, monitor tread wear, and rotate tires regularly.

But it's important to remember the age of tires is also a factor in tire safety.

"Generally, if it's six years or older, we do recommend replacing your tires," Page said.

In a round of questions, drivers asked how old their tires were could not tell what the exact age of theirs were.

But there is a way to tell how old a tire is.

Right next to the DOT identification number on every tire, is a production date code.

But there's a catch- it only has to be on one side of the tire, which could be mounted where you can't see the number.

The first two digits represent which week the tire came off the production line. The last two show the year.

"This was made the 25th week of 2014," Page explained while pointing to a tire.

At the very least, Safety Institute Founder Sean Kane says the government should require a clearer date and do more to educate the public and tire technicians about tire aging.

"The federal government for its part has enabled this problem to continue," said Kane.

From 2005 to 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documented 90 deaths and 3200 injuries in wrecks caused by aged tires.

"The government has validated it's a problem. The industry knows it's a problem. Consumers still don't know it's a problem," Kane explained.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association said those statistics refer to chemical and mechanical aging caused by heat, wear and tear, and improper maintenance, but not actual age.

Dan Zielinski, who is a Senior Vice President of the association argues the data just isn't there.

"There is no data to support that chronological age is a factor in tire safety performance," he said.

MORE: Simple steps drivers can take for tire safety

During the investigation, some drivers were shocked to see just how old their tires really were, and expressed their surprise like this:

"So, this tire was actually made in April 2003."

"Wow, I didn't know that."

"You had no idea that tire was that old?"

"No I had no idea."

Nikki Fitzgerald, who recently bought used tires, said she would have made a different choice if she knew how old the tires were.

"So that's six years old. Did you have any idea they were that old?"

Nikki-"No idea," she said.

"Would you have bought them if you knew they were that old?"

"Definitely not."

Kane said even if an old tire looks fine, even if it's never been on the road, it can be dangerous.

MORE: How to read your tire

The rubber degrades over time, especially in a hot climate like South Georgia, and that puts the tire at risk.

"You can get a catastrophic tread belt separation," said Kane.

Millie Page says, drivers who don't know how old their tires are, need to find out.

It's one tool that can help keep you from driving on dangerous tires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not have a requirement for how old tires may be when they are sold or when they should be replaced.

NHTSA recommends you follow your car and tire makers' recommendations.

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting a tire safety study that could result in new recommendations for NHTSA and the tire industry in 2015.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

  • Inside WALB.comMore>>

  • How to read your tire

    How to read your tire

    Tuesday, November 11 2014 1:43 PM EST2014-11-11 18:43:22 GMT
    You can find almost all you need to know about your tire if you know how to read what is on the sidewall. Below is an explanation of what the numbers and letters mean.More >>
    You can find almost all you need to know about your tire if you know how to read what is on the sidewall. Below is an explanation of what the numbers and letters mean.More >>
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • breaking

    Police respond to robbery by snatching at Albany package store

    Police respond to robbery by snatching at Albany package store

    Saturday, March 25 2017 10:09 PM EDT2017-03-26 02:09:42 GMT

    Albany Police have responded to a robbery by snatching at the National Package Store on Oakridge Drive. Dispatch has confirmed the call came in just before 8 p.m. Saturday, and the suspect fled the scene.

    More >>

    Albany Police have responded to a robbery by snatching at the National Package Store on Oakridge Drive. Dispatch has confirmed the call came in just before 8 p.m. Saturday, and the suspect fled the scene.

    More >>
  • Former America's Got Talent finalist visits Albany for "Seniors on the Runway"

    Former America's Got Talent finalist visits Albany for "Seniors on the Runway"

    Saturday, March 25 2017 9:46 PM EDT2017-03-26 01:46:19 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    A big voice with roots in South Georgia visited Albany this weekend. Quintavious Johnson placed fifth on America's Got Talent back in 2014. He has family who lives here in Albany.

    More >>

    A big voice with roots in South Georgia visited Albany this weekend. Quintavious Johnson placed fifth on America's Got Talent back in 2014. He has family who lives here in Albany.

    More >>
  • Love in the park

    Love in the park

    Saturday, March 25 2017 6:15 PM EDT2017-03-25 22:15:19 GMT
    Avalon Park was full of people, children and good food (Source: WALB)Avalon Park was full of people, children and good food (Source: WALB)

    A neighborhood came together to get Albany children out of the house to play. Folks who live in Avalon Park organized an event for the children in the area to enjoy the weather and being outdoors.

    More >>

    A neighborhood came together to get Albany children out of the house to play. Folks who live in Avalon Park organized an event for the children in the area to enjoy the weather and being outdoors.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly