Reconsidering the Tire Tread Penny Test

For many years the penny test has been used as device to help gauge the wear of tires. This has come in handy for those considering that it may be time to purchase new BF Goodrich tires for their cars and pickup trucks. The way it works is that a penny is inserted into the tread of the tire with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing the tire. If the tread reached the top of his head, the tires were considered to be safe. However, the tires were in need of replacement if the tread was worn too much to reach Lincoln’s head. Checking the tires is important aspect of car routine car maintenance . This is extremely important to do when setting out on a long drive or a trip. Now however, the tire industry has concluded that the penny is just not enough, that it is time to hand that responsibility over to the quarter. By continuing to use the penny safety may be compromised. The penny test was not random, but based on the fact that most tire warranties cover the tire as long as the tread was 2/32 of an inch.  But the problem that was discovered through testing tires with this amount of tread depth is that they did not provide enough traction when driven on wet or icy roads. The water and the snow was not being sufficiently displaced. And on streets that had no environmental effects, the braking distance was significantly increased, meaning that it took longer to stop. Now, the distributors of all brands of tires, including Toyo and Vredestein tires , are recommending that the consumer use a quarter, as the space between the edge of the quarter and the top George Washington’s head is greater. This will ensure that the tire has enough tread to provide a safe ride. This means that tires will have to be replace sooner rather than later, but the benefits are well worth it.