WASHINGTON (Nov. 23, 2009)—A Rubber Manufacturers Association survey showed 11 percent of motorists have at least one bald tire, the RMA said.
The RMA revealed its conclusions after a survey of more than 7,000 vehicles. AAA estimates that 33.2 million vehicles will be on the road this Thanksgiving, and interpolating from the survey results, as many as 4 million of them could have at least one bald tire, putting them at risk for blowouts or wet-road hydroplaning, the association said.
Of the motorists polled in the survey, 9 percent never had their tire tread depth checked and 64 percent didn't know how to do it themselves. The “penny test”—inserting a penny with Lincoln's head upside down into a tire tread—is still the best quick way to test tread depth, according to the RMA. If Lincoln's head is entirely visible, it's time to buy a new tire, the association said.