How to know when it's time for new tires

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now with that new warning about your

tires after scenes like this one cars

crashing in these winter storms that are

now moving east ABC's Gio Benitez is

here and Gio driving on worn tires and

wet conditions that is very dangerous

incredibly dangerous Cecelia good

morning yeah listen we know cars are

loaded with safety features they warned

us about important things like low tire

pressure but one thing they may not tell

you is when you have low tread tires

that's when they have smoothed out and

lost their grip so Consumer Reports is

out with an urgent warning about worn

tires and we are with them for a test

run they're like seeing straight out of

action movies a hydroplaning accident

caught on camera and there's this near

crash on wet roads experts say many

times low tread tires are to blame we

aren't aware so much that as their tires

are wearing they're also losing

performance in certain areas wet snow

ice to show how dangerous low tread

tires can be we go to the Consumer

Reports auto test track our first demo


that's when tires lose contact with the

road this can happen when your tire has

such low tread that it isn't able to

disperse the water on the road a wedge

of water forms in front of the tire and

the driver loses the ability to steer

first we try brand new tires I'm going

to enter the water we approach this

slight curve at 50 miles per hour

driving through less than an inch of

standing water

curve yeah you never lost control but

it's a different case when we switch to

low tread time about half the amount as

the new ones experts say this is when

you should start shopping for new tires

so there's less channels less grooves

for the water to dissipate from and

watch our car is not able to stay on

that curve we completely lose control of

steering the car wants to go straight

next we try braking in what condition

has good grip will stop in a shorter

distance at 60 miles per hour on the wet

track and I'm gonna do a panic stop we

slam on the brakes

while computers in the car measure the

distance it takes for the car to stop

with the new tires the car stops at a

hundred sixty one feet but when we hit

the track with the low tread tires we're

into the same speed 60 miles per hour

Ryan slams on those brakes again Wow

that's a significant difference the car

stops at 202 feet about 40 feet farther

than with the new tires that's more than

the length of two cars these tires are

technically not worn out completely

they're just there at for 30 seconds

it's a good time to start looking at new

tires a decision that could save a life

down the road it really could so how do

you know when it's time to look for new

tires well there's a really easy way you

can use a quarter to measure that tread

depth okay check this out so nothing but

luck for George Washington but we want

to actually put him upside down and we

want to make sure that his head is being

sort of cut off there the top of the

head you don't want to see that that's

when you know you've got brand new tires

that's okay but look at these right here

because when you put that quarter here

you can still see the top of George

Washington's head so that is now when

you need to start looking for new tires

remember all season tires that's about

every 50 to 60 thousand miles when you

need to start looking facility I see

you've got more change there Geo you've

got another tip for us on how to when

you have to immediately change the tires

that's right we're gonna use a penny

this time because it's so small that we

really want to show that it's a really

worn tire okay this one has a for ham

Lincoln obviously and look at that with

the penny it is so tiny and still you

can see Abraham

Lincoln's head that is when you just

can't drive on these it could be illegal

in some six all right come inside and

give us our money back gee that's a good

message for everybody out there take a

few minutes to do that

you save your life actually in this

weather hi everyone George

Stephanopoulos here thanks for checking

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