A tire wearing unevenly and balding more intensely on side of the tread.

Tire maintenance & safety

The dangers of bald tires

When it comes to tires, bald tires aren’t beautiful-they’re downright dangerous. Bald tires increase the chance of dangerous situations and losing control, especially in bad weather. In fact, more than 1 out of every 10 vehicles on the road have at least one bald tire.

What is a bald tire?

The part of a tire that contacts the road is called the tread, and this tread wears down over time. When a tire's tread is completely worn down to the wear bars, you have a bald tire. If your vehicle has bald tires, you need new tires as soon as possible. We cannot stress this enough, driving on bald tires is not safe.

Worn tires are dangerous

When it rains, the grooves in a tire help channel water away so the tire can maintain contact with the road surface. This helps reduce the chance of hydroplaning. But the grooves on a worn tire tread are too shallow to effectively evacuate water from beneath the tire. Driving on bald tires in rain can result in difficulty stopping or even a complete loss of vehicle control.

Driving in the snow on bald tires is risky too. A tire's tread pattern, including sipes, gives it a bunch of biting edges that help it dig into the snow. A bald tire loses these edges and makes it harder to both start and stop your vehicle.

Even on dry roads, bald tires are more prone to tire failure and are more easily punctured. It's not hard to see why. A bald tire is literally thinner at the tread than a new tire, so it's easier for a nail or other objects to cause a flat tire.

Worn-out tires can make any drive perilous. If you're wondering when to change tires, it's a very good idea to get rid of your worn tires before they contribute to a collision. Too many people wait to buy new tires until they're driving on bald tires in rain and realizing their wheels are spinning. Don't postpone something as important as safety.

Stay up to date on our SimpleDeals for even more affordable new tires.

Unevenly worn tires side by side

When are tires worn out?

If your tires are worn down to the tire wear bars, you need to buy new ones as soon as possible. But even a partially worn tire is risky. Worn tires can cause a reduction in your ability to stop as quickly as you need to. Even a half-worn tire tread can increase your stopping distance by several car lengths.

Using a tread depth gauge is one of the most accurate ways to determine when to change tires. If you don't have one handy, all you need is a quarter:

  • Insert a quarter head first into one of the grooves on your tire.
  • If you can see the top of Washington's head, it's time to find new tires.

Tires worn out?

With proper care and maintenance, your tires can keep you safer, longer. But, if you need new tires now, below are some of our top picks for tires with high mileage treadwear warranties (even up to 90,000 miles!).

Passenger tires

Light truck tires

SUC & CUV tires

Tire being rolled against an orange background

Don't let worn tires ruin your drive. Driving on bald tires is dangerous, so replace your worn-out tires before they cause an accident. Buying new tires is an investment in your safety, and it's a much better use of money than needing to unexpectedly fork over cash for an insurance deductible.

Don't wait until you have a bald tire. Help renew your vehicle's safety today. SimpleTire helps you get the right tires for your vehicle as well as your personal driving needs.

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