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Simple Test For Tire Tread

Having tires with good traction is essential for driving safety. But did you know that many states actually require your tires to have at least 2/32” tread depth to be road safe? If your tire tread is worn down, it may be time to get new tires. Maryland Auto Insurance Fund wants you to drive safe this winter season, check your tire tread before your next road trip.

Tire tread helps keep your car stable and from slipping on ice and wet road conditions. Tire tread, or traction, gets worn down over time. When your traction is too worn down water and snow get packed down on your tire and create dangerous driving conditions. When your tires are bald on wet road conditions you have less control over your vehicle making driving unsafe.

So how do you know if your tread is worn and it is time for new tires? Maryland Auto Insurance Fund recommends trying the penny or quarter test.

The Penny Test

Find a penny and go out to your car. Position the penny so that Abe Lincoln’s head is upside down. With Lincoln’s head upside down place the penny in a groove of your tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible it is time for new tires because your traction is less that 2/32”. If you can not see Lincoln’s head, your tires are good to go.

The Quarter Test

There are some auto professionals who will suggest performing the same test but with a quarter. Washington’s head will test if your tires have 4/32” traction left, the recommended tread for driving in wet or icy road conditions. Remember, the more tread you have, the better traction control you have. Make sure you replace your tires when your tread gets too low for a safe drive.

MAIF Insurance is a local top area provider of Maryland Auto Insurance Fund policies. Contact one of our convenient locations for more information. MAIF is available to ALL Maryland residents regardless of your driving record.