It’s recommended that you perform the “penny test” at least once a month to check the tread depth on your tires as a proactive measure. Yet, it’s a good bet that many people don’t address potential problems with their tires until they think there might be an issue – which is an issue in and of itself. That’s because studies indicate that as many as a quarter of all tire-related accidents occur due to tread depth that’s below the minimum, which is usually defined as 2/32 of an inch. This statistic isn’t surprising, given that poor tread depth can lead to the following driving issues:
Grip slips: The biggest issue with low tread depth is that the tires don’t grip the road as well as they should, which impacts how promptly your vehicle is able to come to a complete stop. In the winter, poor tread depth can even impact acceleration, as going from a stopped position to just 20 miles per hour on snowy roads is estimated to take up to 12 feet longer to accomplish.
Hydroplaning issues: Tires with poor tread depth don’t expel water as quickly from the grooves as those with good depth do. And when water stays beneath the tire, there’s a greater risk of hydroplaning. Even tires with half-tread have proven to show about an 8 percent decrease in hydroplaning resistance compared to those with full tread, according to Consumer Reports.
Other issues: Other issues with low-tread tires are that they’re more likely to puncture and lose air pressure.
As you can see, your vehicle’s tires are an important component when it comes to both the driveability of your vehicle and safety of its passengers – and a new development called SnapSkan could make ensuring your tires are adequate easier and more convenient than ever before. Specifically, SnapSkan is a service that uses 3D scanning technology to measure tire tread. Here’s an overview on how the Nokian Tyres-provided system works:
- SnapSkan is basically a speed bump-type of innovation that’s best installed at venues like gas stations, car washes, grocery store parking lots or other venues.
- As the SnapSkan speed bump is driven over, a 3D scanner analyzes the tread depth of the tires and captures the data. Nokian Tyres says that it works instantly and accurately.
- A camera is integrated with the system, which records the vehicle’s license plate so that each respective vehicle that is analyzed can be identified by its registration number.
- Following the scan, drivers can receive the analysis of their tires’ tread depth through either text or e-mail.
SnapSkan is a great concept, and it obviously has the potential to be an easy, convenient means of receiving information on the tread depth of your tires. However, there are certain other things that you should take note of when it comes to your tires for safety’s sake that the SnapSkan isn’t able to identify for you – at least not yet. For instance, SnapSkan only measures the tread depth at one point across the tire. What’s more is that the technology doesn’t seem to account for any bulges or any other anomalies on the tire, factors which can also impact the tire’s quality.
The bottom line is that while SnapSkan can be a nice supporting technology for helping you decide if your tires may be past their prime, there are certain other things that it can’t measure when it factors into whether or not you may need new tires. After all, just because your tire tread checks out OK doesn’t necessarily mean that your tires are in good shape. Aside from the other issues we mentioned above, dry rot, punctures and air leaks can all impact the safety of your tires. So don’t just rely on technology to gauge the safety of your tires, it still pays to check them out yourself or to have the professionals check them out for you.
For more information, and to get a better idea of whether or not your vehicle may need a new set of tires, contact us today.