HARTFORD, CT (February 16, 2021) – With wintry weather and more snow in the forecast, AAA is urging Connecticut motorists who may have neglected car care during the pandemic to wait no longer because worn tires may increase both stopping distances and crash risks.
“At AAA, we have already seen an increase in dead battery calls because of COVID, but neglected tire maintenance is of even greater concern because worn tires can lead to serious crashes that might otherwise be avoided,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “And now, with wet and snow-covered roads, there is greater risk of losing control.”
Previous AAA research found that driving on worn tires when roads are wet can increase average stopping distances on highways by almost 90 feet, or 43% more compared to new tires. If tested side-by-side at 60 mph on wet roads, vehicles with worn tires would still be traveling at 40 mph when the vehicle with new tires had come to a complete stop.
“In recent weeks, after each snow event, we’ve seen an increase in customers coming in for tires having realized that their old tires were not sufficiently able to hold the road,” says Eileen Chesney, Manager of the AAA Car Care in Southington. “We are actually running a tire special at this time to incentivize those who have put off car care to prioritize safety.”
How to Test Your Tire Tread
AAA recommends a simple tire test to determine whether a vehicle needs new tires. Insert a quarter into the tread, leading with George Washington’s head. At least some of Washington’s head should be hidden in the tread or, AAA says, it is time for new tires.
In addition to having healthy tires, AAA offers these winter weather driving tips:
- Slow down. Drive defensively and with compromised road conditions in mind.
- Increase following distance. In optimal conditions, drivers should allow 3-4 seconds to stop. When roads are wet or snow-covered, following distance should be increased to 8-10 second
- Make sure headlights are on and that your brake lights and taillights are clean and visible - not just so you can see but so you can be seen by others.
- Never use cruise control in wet-weather. Always maintain full control of your vehicle
- Make sure windshield wipers work and don’t streak.
- If you do begin to skid or hydroplane, always look and steer in the direction you want to go.
CT Mailing Address:
815 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06119
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.