Some things improve with age. Tires are not one of those things. In fact, if your tires are too old, you may be putting your family at risk of injury in a Pennsylvania tire blowout accident.
All rubber degrades with time. You may have noticed that old rubber bands lose elasticity and tend to crack or break. Tires are also made of rubber and degrade in the same way. Any tire over six years old poses a risk of sudden, catastrophic tread separation. For this reason, every tire, regardless of wear or amount of use, should be replaced after six to ten years.
You may have receipts that show you bought new tires three years ago, but you can’t assume that your tires are three or even four years old. Unscrupulous tire dealers often sell tires that look new but have been sitting on the rack for years, sometimes past their expiration date. To find the true age of your tire, you will need to look at the tire itself.
Every tire has a Tire Identification Number. The Tire Identification Number is a serial number inscribed on the tire’s sidewall. If your tire was manufactured after 2006, the number is located on the outside sidewall where it can be read easily. If your tire was manufactured on or before 12-31-2006, the number is on the inside sidewall. You will need to get under your car to see the Tire Identification Number.
Look for the last four digits of the serial number. These numbers are the batch code. The first two digits are the week of the year in which the tire was manufactured. The last two digits are the year. A tire made in the 2nd week of 2012 (January 2012) would have a serial number ending in 0212.
If your tire’s number ends in three digits, you need to replace your tires as soon as possible. A three digit number means that your tire was manufactured before 2000 and is well over ten years old. You are putting yourself, your family, and everyone else on the road at risk if you continue to drive on those tires.
For more information about accident prevention and your rights after a Pennsylvania car crash injury, visit the library portion of this website. To discuss your own tire blowout accident with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney, contact Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo at 1-888-807-9675, and ask to schedule a free consultation.