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Tire Tread Depth Safety Standard May Be Too Low

You know your tires are responsible for getting you from A to B. But how much do you really know about the safety of those four wheels under your vehicle? Here are some surprising facts uncovered in a new AAA study about tire safety and tread depth.

Tires are the only point of contact between vehicles and the road. Every safety and control system in the vehicle relies on the ability of the car’s tires to maintain adequate traction. That is why safety guidelines are imposed on how worn vehicle tires can be before they are considered illegal to drive on.

According to the North Carolina Consumers Council, your tires are your most critical safety component.

The agency states that tires with a tread depth of 2/32” or less will not pass state safety inspections. Tires with tread below this threshold are known to be insufficient for a vehicle’s needs, especially in wet conditions.

However, a new study by AAA suggests that even tires that are within our state’s limits are more dangerous than people may realize.

How Safe Is the 2/32” Tire Depth Minimum?

AAA found that a tread depth of even 4/32”, twice as deep as the state standard for replacement, was measurably unsafe.

The agency conducted tests on wet roads at speeds of 60 mph to compare the stopping ability of brand new tires versus those with a tread depth of 4/32”.

The tests discovered that, compared to new tires, those with a tread depth of 4/32” increased stopping distance by 43% – which means another 87 feet of stopping distance for cars. Put another way, the point at which the new tires reach a complete stop, the worn tires continue to travel at speeds of nearly 40 mph. No matter how hard you hit the brakes; your tires will keep traveling and could potentially cause a collision.

If you think buying more expensive tires is the answer, AAA has a caveat about that. The study found that tread depth had a much larger influence on tire performance than the cost of the tires. Worn tire performance for the most expensive all-season tires did not perform significantly better than the less expensive all-season tires in the study.

Precautionary Measures & Tire Tread Depth

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that one in every 11 crashes involved an issue with a tire prior to the accident.

So what can you do to help try to keep your tires up to par?

  • Inform yourself of the functions and proper maintenance of your tires. Take matters into your own hands and stay up to date with information on tire safety.
  • Test your own tire depth using a quarter. Turn the quarter upside down and place it in the tread; if you can see anything above the top of Washington’s hair, it is time to change the tire.
  • Don’t wait to change your tires. Change them before they reach a tread depth of 4/32” instead of waiting until they reach the state-mandated minimum of 2/32”.

AAA notes that the 2/32” minimum may provide benefits in the form of lower warranty costs for manufacturers, but the human cost could be too high to ignore.

Get a Free Case Evaluation from North Carolina Car Crash Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident due to the at-fault driver’s worn tires (or for any other reason) contact us today or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

Learn more about the formidable team of car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin who stand ready to fight for you.

Truck Wrecks Are Not Just Big Car Wrecks

Experience navigating commercial truck accident investigations tells us this: Commercial truck accident investigations take on a life of their own and can become very complex, very quickly.

Success in truck accident claims often boils down to experience

“Understanding the difference between car wrecks and truck litigation is where a case can be won or lost.”
— Paul Dickinson, Litigation Attorney at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

There are a whole host of state and federal rules and regulations that govern how commercial trucking companies and truck drivers should operate. Millions of dollars can potentially be at stake, which is why insurance companies are likely to do almost anything to deny fault. They often have their best and most experienced adjusters handle these claims. Some have been known to send a defense lawyer to the scene within the hour to begin gathering evidence on behalf of their client.

Experience in this industry has proven to me that it is extremely difficult to be successful in this type of claim unless you know how to navigate the trucking industry and its rules and regulations.

A collision with a commercial truck is subject to different rules and regulations than car crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates operating codes that apply only to commercial trucking companies and truck drivers. Truckers also have special training and licensing requirements. Trucking companies are required by law to keep records that must be produced as evidence in the event of a crash. However, sometimes these documents have been destroyed if they were not accessed immediately.

Preservation of evidence is a critical reason we urge truck accident victims to contact us as soon as possible after an accident.

Serious injuries and potentially millions of dollars could be at stake

Multiple companies are often involved and will potentially point blame at each other – and at you. Trucking companies often act immediately, putting their best people on the scene to start making a case against anyone but them.

If we take your case, we will immediately begin gathering evidence to try to get you the maximum compensation you may deserve.

We take immediate action to preserve critical evidence

Trucking companies will often call on their best investigators, insurance reps, supervisors, and other truck accident experts. They will be looking at skid marks, the debris field, talking to witnesses, the police. They will obtain data from the truck’s black box and driver log books – and they will work to get the data that was recorded from your own vehicle, such as speed and braking.

Truck accident victims may need their own accident experts on the scene to gather evidence and secure critical information.

Multiple companies will likely obtain their own lawyers to try to prove fault

In my experience, it is rare that anyone wants to pay or accept fault, including companies who broker truck drivers, loaders, and maintenance, parts manufacturers, and the trucking company itself. The driver’s very livelihood may depend on his innocence. So he may try to do everything he can to exonerate himself, even if that means blaming you.

Let us work to deflect these accusations to try to prove you were not at fault and that you deserve maximum compensation.

We investigate to try to uncover all parties that may be liable to you in a trucking accident, including:

  • Owner of the trucking company
  • The parent company of the trucking firm
  • Big-rig owner
  • Truck driver
  • Truck driver’s employer
  • Owner of the cab and owner of the trailer
  • Manufacturer of the truck’s parts
  • Maintenance company that services the truck or its parts
  • Manufacturer of other vehicles, if involved
  • Owner and driver of any other vehicle involved
  • And potentially other at-fault parties

You may get nothing if they can show you were partly to blame

If the defense lawyers can show that you were just 1% at fault, they may claim they do not have to pay you one dime under North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws. Unfortunately, they may be correct. Contributory negligence means that even if you were just a fraction at fault for your injury, the insurance company may not be legally obligated to compensate you. That is why you need a lawyer who can help you try to prove someone else was 100% to blame for the injuries you suffered.

Insurance companies sometimes offer far less than what you deserve

Or they may offer what you might believe is a substantial sum of money. Don’t be fooled by an offer of quick cash up front. In many cases, we’ve found these types of offers to be a ploy to entice the unwitting victim to settle quickly and disappear – fast.

Our advice? Talk to us before accepting any type of truck accident settlement.

Let us even the playing field and fight for maximum recovery

Trucking companies have lawyers looking out for them. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced truck accident attorney fighting for you. We complete our own investigations and take steps to preserve evidence in the possession of the trucking company, by court order if necessary. This evidence may include:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) data: HOS data can be found in logbooks or electronic logging devices. It can show whether the driver followed federal regulations concerning the number of hours drivers are allowed to spend on the road.
  • Employment records: Did the driver have a poor safety record or was otherwise unqualified to drive a truck?
  • Maintenance records: Were there maintenance problems with the truck or any of its individual parts?
  • Electronic data: Today’s trucks have electronic control modules (“black boxes”) that record information about the truck’s operation. This information has been known to disappear quickly.

We fight for maximum compensation the law allows

You may have a right to maximum compensation for:

  • Medical and rehabilitation bills
  • Future medical
  • Lost time from work
  • Cost of vehicle repairs
  • Diminished earning capacity for permanent injuries
  • Funeral expenses

Pay no attorney’s fee if we don’t recover

You pay us nothing upfront and no attorney’s fee whatsoever if we don’t recover for you.2

We offer a free initial case evaluation, so contact us today at 1-866-900-7078.

You have a lot on your shoulders right now – a lot of decisions to make about your recovery and medical bills. Let us try to go after all the money you may be owed so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.