Why You Need to Tread Carefully

When it comes to low tread tires, you have to tread lightly. The shallow tread will impact the road performance of your car, which can potentially put you in harm’s way.

Remember that tire treads don’t last forever. Once it thins, you have to be aware of the following risks:

Increased braking distance

One of the effects of shallow tire tread is increased braking distance. This means that your car will cover more ground before making a full stop once you hit the brakes.

Increased braking distance is directly proportional to your risk of collision. And during winter, the snow on the road will make your brakes’ performance much worse.

Take note that road accidents due to shallow tire tread can put you in legal entanglements. For example, the police may decide to sue you for the damage since you neglected your tires.

Violating legal limits

Most states will have a 1.6 mm minimum legal limit for tire treads. If your car tires have a tread shallower than that, you’ll face heavy fines and points placed on your license.

Overall, a brand new tire has a tread depth of 8 mm, which can last for around 20,000 miles. Once you reach this mileage, you should consider changing tires or performing a thorough inspection.

Experts recommend changing your tires once you hit the 3 mm mark. If you want to stretch the tire’s lifespan, you should drive slowly and only short distances.

Increased risk of aquaplaning

Aquaplaning occurs when water builds up on the front part of the tires. As the water pushes under the tire, it will create a thin layer between the road and the tire rubber.

When this happens, your tires will lose grip of the road. At high speeds, you’ll also lose control of your vehicle, which will increase your risk of accidents.

Low tire tread makes aquaplaning more likely to occur during a rainy day. And even if it’s the summer season, it’s not wise to drive your car with shallow treads.

Prone to punctures

Low tread tires are thin and prone to punctures. If you run over a shard of glass, your tire can burst or deflate.

This condition can be extremely dangerous at highway speeds. You’re likely to lose control of your vehicle and even crash into other cars.

Always inspect your tire tread!

As part of road safety, you should always check your tire’s tread depth. This is also crucial before long drives and when driving under inclement weather.

The easiest way to check tire tread is to perform the ‘quarter test’. You simply press a penny into the tread. If Lincoln’s face is buried, that means the tread is still deep.

However, if Lincoln’s face is almost unblocked, you may need to consider changing your tires. The wet-weather grip is very low at this point.


Your tire’s tread depth will impact your safety on the road. Once it hits 1.6 mm, you should invest in a replacement tire.

Putting off replacements will increase your risk of accidents on the road. This is much so during snowy or rainy conditions when you need optimal road grip.