Road Safety: 5 Signs That You Need New Tires

Charlotte Miller

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How often do you check your tires? It’s something that it’s worthwhile doing regularly because worn or incorrectly inflated tires are not only illegal but incredibly dangerous.

Worn down tires mean you’ll have less grip on the road, which affects both handling and braking, so it’s wise to make sure they’re in good condition and replace them when they’re not.

If you’re wondering how to know when your tires need replacing, you’re in the right place. Keep reading as we outline the biggest red flags that suggest you need new tires.

  1. Check the Tread

The most obvious sign that your tires are worn is by looking at them. But what if you don’t know exactly what to look for?

Tire tread is legislated similarly across the United States, with most states requiring a tread of at least 1.6mm. 

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to check! Grab a penny, and insert it into the tire tread upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover any of Lincoln’s head, then your tread is too low and you should replace your tires.

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  1. Other Visible Signs of Wear

Checking the tread isn’t the only way to see if a tire is worn down. There are a few other warning signs that show you need to take action.


When a tire gets worn down, cracks can form in the rubber. This is a clear sign that the tire is in poor condition, and it could even result in a blowout which is obviously very dangerous.

Uneven Tread Wear

Wear on your tires is completely expected, so don’t worry too much about it unless the tread is low. But something to look out for is if the tread wear is uneven. This could be a sign that the tires aren’t inflated correctly and there is excessive wear on one or more tires, or on certain areas of a tire.

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  1. The Car Pulls To One Side

There are some signs that something isn’t right with your tires while you’re driving. One of the most obvious is that the car pulls to one side. You might feel like you’re constantly fighting against the car to keep it driving straight. 

This could be caused by poorly inflated or worn tires. However, it could also be the brakes, so it’s a good idea to get a tire and brake service.

  1. Shaking and Vibrating

It can be hard to determine the cause of vibration. It could be the tires, but it could equally be the road surface or a suspension problem.

If you feel shaking or vibrating while you’re driving, it’s worthwhile checking your tires, even to eliminate it as a cause.

  1. Dashboard Warnings

Thankfully, most modern cars have great technology and there are likely to be sensors that will tell you when something isn’t quite right. You might get a dashboard warning that informs you of a flat tire or a tire with low pressure.

While this is a handy feature, the absence of the warning doesn’t necessarily mean your tires are optimal, so it’s still worth checking them regularly.

Do You Need New Tires?

Have you read through these points and realized that you might need new tires? Or maybe you’re just grateful that now you know what to look for.

We have plenty more help and advice like this on our blog, so why not check it out? The Travel section especially will have more information and advice to do with cars.