The Importance of Tire Tread Depth

Written by Greg on May 15, 2014

Proper tire care is very important in your overall safety while driving.

There are a few areas of concern for proper care of your tire this article addresses the need for proper tread depth.

If your trip is 6/32 of an inch or more then you should experience satisfactory traction and performance as far as your tread is concerned. However, if your tread depth calls between 4/32 of an inch and 5/32 of an inch your traction in wet weather diminishes and your odds of hydroplaning increase significantly.

When your tread depth falls to 3/32 of an inch or less you are playing with fire is for sure tires are concerned.

One area that has been studied is the stopping distance when standing water is on the roadway. This is a very common occurrence in Houston, Texas.

Stopping distance with full to mid tread depth in standing water averages 160 feet at 60 mph.

With mid to minimum tread – 4/32 of an inch to 5/32 of an inch, stopping distance can increase to 205 feet under the same conditions.

With worn tread of 2 to 3/32 of an inch, stopping distance in wet weather can increase to 250 feet at 60 mph.

The safety distance between the tread on wet roadways and poor tread is significant and a very important reason to check your tires frequently and replace when necessary.

To check your trend, consider going to a local tire dealership and having them inspect your tires. Many will do so for free. Alternatively, you can take a penny and do the penny trip test by placing the penny and the tread with Lincoln’s head down, and if part of Lincoln’s head is covered you will have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread.

Your families safety truly does ride on your tires. Please replace your tires when necessary and exercise proper care and maintenance of your tires.

Posted Under: Consumer Information

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