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Florida Laws on Tire Treads

by Gilbert Manda

In Florida, there is a minimum tread depth required by law after which tires must be changed. The reason for that is simple, for the safety of the driver and other road users, a vehicle must be easily controllable at highway speed. Well maintained tires entail good hydroplaning and reduced tire noise. Checking frequently for wear, bulging and cracking and the condition of the tread is part of car maintenance to ensure safety on the road.

Vehicle Control

Tires allow you to control your car and stop. You are prone to an accident if your tires do not allow you to steer around an object. Tires should be able to provide traction on the road when you are trying to avoid an accident. No certified inspector in Florida will pass a car with tires that have less than the acceptable tread depth.

Minimum Tread Depth

Under Florida law, the minimum tread depth in Florida is 1/16 or 2/32 of an inch. The unofficial way of measuring tire thread is by using a coin. If you dip a penny into tread grooves across the tire and most of the Lincoln's head is out, it needs replacing. The official method of measuring is a gauge which reads 32nds of an inch of the remaining tread depth. Knowing the tire is worn out is also common sense. When a tire's depth is 2/32-inch, its ability to perform in snow or rain is undermined, and the possibility of hydroplaning in wet conditions is greatly increased.

North America Laws

Tire manufacturers in North America are required to have indicators called wear bars molded into the tread. The wear bars run through the tread pattern to the outside shoulder of the tire. This helps Florida and other American and Canadian drivers easily notice when tires are worn out. Canada and most U.S. states follow the 2/32-inch tread depth rule.

About the Author

Gilbert Manda has written financial news since 2000. He holds a professional diploma from the London School of Journalism, a Bachelor of Science in global business and public policy from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University London.

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