EVERYONE needs to understand this vital fact about tire replacement. Not knowing this can lead to choosing tires that can easily lead to a fatal accident for you and your family.
This information is primarily related to purchasing new tires for an existing car. This is not typically an issue when you are buying a new car from the dealership.
Tire rubber dries out after six years, but American companies are allowed to sell expired tires long after they wear out. "New" tires on sale at Sears and Walmart can be up to 12 years old!
If you want to know the age of your tires, look for the Department of Transportation number hidden on the inner wheel wall. At the end of the number is a four-digit sequence that shows the week and year the tire was made. Tires with the notation 3502 were made in the 35th week of 2002.
If you only see three digits, get new tires immediately; your tires are from the 90's and are way past their effective lifespan.
Take Control of Your Own Health and Safety
In a broader sense, the fact that you need to check the age of your tires is indicative of a more important principle -- your health and safety are in your own hands, not anyone else’s.
I never fail to find shocking the callous disregard for human life, which seems to be the standard operating procedure for many corporations. To save a tiny bit of money, these companies are putting you at risk of a deadly accident.
The same ethic (or lack of one) is at work in the case of many drug companies, genetically modified food companies, and multinational corporations in general. They are not looking out for you; they are looking out for their own bottom line. Your health is far less important to them than their profits.
Protect Yourself from Accidents
The same general principles I have always espoused with regard to protecting yourself from chronic disease also applies to accidents. An accident can happen to anybody, and by taking basic precautions, you can greatly increase your chances of living a long and healthy life. Did you know that:
In 2002, road traffic injuries made up approximately 23 percent of all deaths from injury
Over 1 million people are killed in road traffic accidents around the world each year
Figures from the World Health Organization and the World Bank suggest another 50 million people may be left injured by crashes annually
In the United States, traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 35
If current trends continue, road traffic accidents could outstrip stroke and HIV as one of the main causes of preventable deaths by 2020. Road traffic injuries could be one of the biggest causes of preventable deaths by 2020 -- third only to heart disease and depression.
Keep Yourself Safe
Here are some ways to keep yourself safe, in addition to checking the dates on your tires:
Think twice when you are purchasing a car and consider purchasing all the available safety options, especially some of the newer ones like traction control, anti-lock brakes and side air bags
The largest number of accidents is caused by drivers looking at other accidents, traffic or roadside incidents; avoid rubbernecking -- it could make you become the next accident on the road
Put your cell phone away when you’re on the road! Remember that the ability to actually communicate with others on the phone is a relatively recent innovation; people did just fine for nearly a century without being able to have a conversation while driving