Teen Drivers: Five Factors Leading to Tire-Related Accidents

Teenagers are at high risk for auto accidents and some of that accident risk stems from tire issues. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5,000 teenagers die every year in accidents. About 12 percent of accidents every year involve inexperienced motorists and tire issues. Learn some factors that might lead to a risk of tire-related accidents among teen drivers.

Lack of Tire Safety Knowledge

Part of the reason why teenagers are at a higher risk of tire-related accidents is that they may not know a lot about tire maintenance and safety. Tire safety issues are typically not included in your average driver education program.

That means many teenagers who have completed driver’s education programs have minimal knowledge about tire safety, like the need to check tire pressure regularly, make sure tires are properly inflated, check tire tread depth, and so on.

Failure to Check Tire Pressure

Every teenager should know how to use a tire pressure gauge to check tire pressure and ensure that tire pressure is at optimum levels. In order to determine the optimum tire pressure for your vehicle, look for the tire pressure recommendations on the driver side door jamb, or in your vehicle owner’s manual.

Many teenagers unfortunately, are not sure how to use a tire pressure gauge, and thus fail to check tires. They may be driving around on underinflated tires that increase the risk of an accident.

Failure to Check Tire Tread Depth

The penny test is a test that every teenager should know how to perform. This is a test that allows you to check for tire tread wear in a simple manner. Failure to check tire tread regularly can put drivers at risk of driving on bald tires that increase of skidding, especially on wet roads.

The penny test involves placing a penny with the Lincoln head pointing down into the grooves of a tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tire tread is worn and you should replace the tire.


Teenagers may be more likely to drive at excessive speeds. They may also drive without taking into consideration weather conditions, road and traffic conditions and other factors that can increase the risk of a tire-related accident. Tire failures, blowouts, lack of vehicle control and other tire-related issues can spell disaster especially when driving at excessive speeds.

Driving on Old Tires

Teenagers may purchase used vehicles when first starting to drive. While these may be excellent first cars, some may come with older tires. Refer to the tire manufacturer’s recommendations regarding when to replace tires. Many require replacement prior to the manufacturer’s age limit recommendations, but teens and other drivers should be aware of how to check a tire’s age and know when to replace it if it’s too old, even if it otherwise appears in good shape.

Know Where to Turn if in a Tire-related Accident

Unfortunately, even if a teen – or any other driver – takes all of these and other tire safety precautions, it may not completely eliminate risk of an accident, especially if the tire is defective. In such cases, those harmed because of a problematic tire may hold the manufacturer liable for damages.

Recoverable damages may include the following. 

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering

Seek legal help when it comes to filing your claim against a tire or vehicle manufacturer. Call 855-529-0269 to speak with the lawyers at Chalik and Chalik Law Offices.  We help accident victims across the state of Florida!