Student Safety and Tires

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by Porter Pryde

It's already back to school time! Before your student heads back to school in the family jalopy, take a few minutes to check the condition of the tires. If you're in a part of the country where snow is likely, you may want to consider dedicated Winter Tires for your student's safety.

Tire Rack recommends that drivers expecting to encounter snow-covered roads consider replacing their tires when tread depths reach approximately 6/32". Tires need more tread depth in wintry conditions to compress snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. If there isn't sufficient tread depth, the vehicle's traction and mobility in snow will be reduced.


New Tire Tread Depth
 Approaching Winter
Wear Indicators
 Approaching Tread
Wear Indicators
Tread design, compound and depth combine to provide effective snow traction. A tire's ability to provide beneficial snow traction diminishes when it has worn to about 6/32". While still legal at 2/32", the tire has worn well past the depth where it provides beneficial snow traction.

Winter tires are molded with deeper tread depths than summer or even All Season Tires, and may also feature Winter Wear Indicators to identify that a tire's tread depth remains suitable for useful snow performance. Experience shows that the available snow traction has passed the point of diminishing returns when the tread has worn down to approximately 6/32" of remaining tread depth and the Winter Wear Indicators are seen connecting adjacent tread blocks.

While most all-season tires will not have Winter Wear Indicators molded into their tread designs, their winter snow traction will also pass the point of diminishing returns when their treads wear down to approximately 6/32" of remaining tread.

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