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automobile spare tire

Road Safety and the Age of Your Tires

Sadly, a road trip can quickly end or even cause personal injury, when a tire that is too old is still being used. People need to pay attention to tire wear signs and maintain proper inflation, but less is said about the age of a tire.

At Glaser and Ebbs we’ve handled our share of tragedies involving an aged tire. A good example of this is when a family sets out on a road trip only to get a flat tire. The spare tire looks brand new and has plenty of tread so they put it into service. Then, the spare tire fails leading to a loss of vehicle control at highway speeds followed by a catastrophe.

Why? A tire is a perishable item with a limited useful life. A tire is made up of layers (steel belts, fabric plies, rubber) that eventually degrade over time. Even if a tire looks great and has plenty of tread, you cannot tell what is happening underneath the surface. Not surprisingly, even some tire professionals may overlook checking the age of a tire.

Although not consumer friendly, you can figure out a tire’s age using the last four digits of the DOT number on the sidewall. For example, 5203 tells you its manufactured the 52nd week of 2003.

Vehicle and tire manufacturers differ on how old a tire should be before replacement. Regardless of remaining tread life, some suggest as early as four years while others say up to 10 years from the date of the tire being manufactured. Also, a lot depends upon the conditions and environment where the tire is being used. Hot climates tend to be more harsh on tires.

In addition to keeping your car tires properly inflated, always be aware of the age of your tires. A failure at highway speeds can cause a loss of control of your vehicle.

The Indiana car wreck attorneys at Glaser & Ebbs are skilled at representing clients and their family members injured in automobile accidents. It often takes legal action to receive fair compensation in these cases. If the responsible party is not found, we will help you look for other coverage. Contact Glaser & Ebbs to learn more about your legal rights and options.