Your vehicle's tires are one of the most important safety features on your vehicle.  Unfortunately, tires are also one of the most overlooked safety features as well.  In recent years there have been many accidents attributed to tread separation on cars and trucks.  A tire's age can be a contributing factor to blowouts and tread separations.  As tires age, the rubber can become dry and more brittle, making them prone to failure.

Currently, tire manufacturers have declined to put expiration dates on tires citing a lack of evidence that old tires are dangerous.  Therefore, it is up to drivers to determine the age of their own tires.  Rule of thumb is that a tire has a safe useful life of approximately 6 years.  However, tires can sit on a retailers shelf for many years and still be sold "as new".  Since there are no age restrictions on tires sold in Florida or the U.S., an unsuspecting buyer could be purchasing "new" tires that are actually over 10 years old.

A tire's age can be checked by looking at the sidewall identification number.  This number will begin with the letters "DOT" and end in 4 digits.  The last four digits will indicate the week and year the tire was produced.  For example, it the last for digits are "3009", this means the tire was produced in the 30th week of 2009.

Therefore, when purchasing new tires, be sure to check the production dates prior to installation.  Since there is no regulation regarding a tire's age, it is up to the consumer to protect themselves from potentially dangerous old tires.

If you have been injured in an auto accident due to tire failure, contact Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. for a free consultation at 1-800-556-8890.