Tires: they're easy to take for granted and often expensive, but they are a major line of defense between you and the road. Responsible for making sure your car actually stops safely and efficiently when you brake, and ensuring your vehicle actually stays on the road are two major roles tires play. For these reasons and beyond, it is imperative you know how to evaluate the effectiveness and status of your tires and when to replace them Bald Tires You've probably heard tires referred to as 'bald,' which is in fact an indicator of how safe they still are or how soon you will need to replace them. Tires are all about traction and grip: the balder they are, the more dangerous they become. Safe, effective tires should have noticeable and textured grooves. A good test to determine if your tires are a bit too bald and in need of replacing is this: Grab a penny and place it head first into one of your tire's grooves. If you can still glimpse the top of President Lincoln's head, then you need to get your car a new set of tires. Bald tires are dangerous because tires are the only things that come in contact with the road you're driving on. Tires that are too smooth won't be able to get a good enough grip on the asphalt, which can lead to your car drifting or moving off course. Other Warning Signs Bald or balding tires aren't the only indicators of dangerous tires. Tires have an element called sidewall, which can crack. If your sidewall appears to have cracks in it then you should investigate further for possible leaks or other kinds of wear and tear. Ignoring such a sign could result in a scary blowout. Weird bulges or other protuberances should act as red flags. These spots, which should be visible to the untrained or naked eye, indicate weak spots, which are susceptible to blowouts. As soon as you glimpse this issue, you should take your car in for a new tire or risk a blowout on the road. Tires may not always look damaged or dangerous but sometimes they can feel that way. Next time you're in your car turn down the radio and turn of your podcast--pay close attention to how the tires feel on the road. If they shake or rattle the car's frame, you need to keep driving all the way to a new tire shop to fix any possible issue. Tires aren't just wheels--they are your first line of protection against the road and all the dangers it presents. To ensure your car's ability to safely stop, turn, and stick to the road in general you need to pay careful care and attention to your tires. Regular checkups and tune-ups can save your wallet and life. If you find yourself or someone you know the victim of an auto-accident--tire related or not--call Rhett Hoestenbach, personal injury attorney to obtain the guidance and assistance you need and deserve.