WASHINGTON—Nearly 12 percent of U.S. motorists drive on at least one bald tire, according to a new survey conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
The RMA's 2014 Tread Depth Survey sampled more than 3,400 American drivers regarding the tread depth on their tires, the association said.
Bald tires are dangerous, especially during holiday travel when roads may well be wet, snowy or icy, said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president-public affairs. Bald tires do not grip the road efficiently and add substantially to stopping distances, he said.
Nearly 40 million Americans will hit the road this Thanksgiving holiday, the RMA noted. To be sure their tires are safe for the trip, the association said to remember the following checklist:
• Check tire pressures before a long trip.
• Place a penny upside down in your tires' tread grooves. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to change the tire.
• Avoid overloading your car, because tire damage can result.
• Make sure the spare tire is properly inflated.
Baltimore was the city with the greatest percentage of vehicles with worn-out tires, at 21.1 percent, the RMA said.
Following Baltimore were Birmingham, Ala. (20.9 percent); San Diego (18.5 percent); Oklahoma City (18.2 percent); Baton Rouge, La. (16.2 percent); Norfolk, Va., and Houston (tied at 16 percent); Richmond, Va. (15.4 percent); Minneapolis (14 percent); and Dallas/Fort Worth (13.8 percent).