WASHINGTON (Nov. 17, 2010) — Twenty-eight million vehicles—nearly 11 percent of the cars and trucks in the U.S.—have at least one bald tire, according to the results of a survey sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
In other words, of the 39.7 million motorists (according to AAA estimates) who will drive to their destinations this Thanksgiving, nearly 4 million will be at risk from at least one bald tire, the RMA said.
The 6,300-vehicle survey is part of the RMA's ongoing efforts to educate motorists about the dangers posed by bald and underinflated tires. Checking a tire's tread depth is simple, the association noted. Stick a penny upside down into a tire tread, and if all of Lincoln's head is visible, the tire should be replaced.
Wear bars, spaced intermittently in the bottoms of tread grooves, also are good indicators of a tire's tread depth, the RMA said. When wear bars appear even with the outside of the tread, the tire should be replaced, it said.
But 9 percent of all motorists never check their tires' tread depths, the association said, and 64 percent have no idea how to tell if their tires are bald.