One cent, one-second test can help prevent tire-related crashes

Local News

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A penny can buy you peace of mind when it comes to your tires and safety. With more snowstorms coming soon, a simple at-home check can help you before you wreck.

By taking a penny to the tread of your tires, you can see just how much tread is left on the wheels of your vehicle.

“And when it’s upside down and you can see his complete head, that tells ya that it’s time for new tires,” said Matt Campbell, South Jordan Les Schwab Tire Center manager.

Campbell said at the tire center, he sees too many cars come in without much tread and it’s a concern.

“Unfortunately, tires are kinda neglected and people don’t pay attention enough as they should until it’s too late and we have an accident,” Campbell said.

Taking this penny test to a nearby parking lot, ABC4 News, along with Campbell, met driver Isaiah Jones and tested the tread on his car tires.  

Campbell tested Jones’ tires and found them to be newer tires. Jones said he put new tires on just two months ago.

While Jones’ tires are in good condition, he said he doesn’t ever worry too much about checking them.

“I only check it when I start sliding outside,” Jones said. “That’s about it, so not very often at all.”

Campbell said the penny test is “good old faithful,” however, another way to test tires is by looking at the minimum tread wear bar.

“It’s a little bit of rubber that will repeat itself several times around the tire,” Campbell said. “So, it’s not one spot and it goes from the edge of the tire to the edge of the tire…When your tire is even with those tread wear bars, that also lets you know that your tires are ready for replacement.”

All Les Schwab locations offer free pre-trip safety inspections to the public. Campbell said an employee will not only check vehicle tires but brakes, suspension, alignment, etc.

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