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Bad tires a growing concern on Utah roads

(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

There are growing concerns that bad tires are causing more crashes in Utah. And it’s because of the end of required vehicle safety inspections in Utah.

The latest winter storms led to big problems on the roads. The KSL TV investigative team found out that unsafe or bad tires seem to be the biggest growing problem.

Bald tires were at fault in 24 of the 933 slide-offs and crashes just last week.

In 2019, bad tires were involved in over 200 more crashes than were involved in 2018.

bald tires

Source: UHP

Statewide, 46 people died in crashes where tires were a contributing factor between 2016 and 2019, according to Utah Highway Patrol.

Vehicle inspections aren’t required after a new law passed two years ago. State Senator Dan McCay sponsored that bill. He has said inspections made Utah roads less safe.

“For the two to five to six months when they noticed a problem, bald tires may it be, they just waited until the safety inspection to get it done,” he said.

The Utah Highway Patrol says are better trained now in what to look for. They also do more checks since the new law. Therefore troopers are giving out more than double the number of unsafe vehicle tickets to drivers since the law passed.

“Ultimately, it’s on you to make sure you are within the law, that you have the proper equipment on your car to operate it safely. It’s’ all on the individual owner-operator,” said Sgt Nick Street.

Street says if you are found to have bald tires after a crash or slide off, you will get a citation.

“The inside is usually where consumers don’t see the wear,” tire expert Jeremy Burt of Burt Brothers Tire & Service told Dave & Dujanovic.

Burt recommended the so-called “penny test,” to determine if you need to replace your tires.

To do the penny test, flip a penny upside down and place it in your tire tread. If your tire does not cover part of Lincoln’s head on the penny, it’s time to replace your tires.

Read more in the KSL TV report here.