Safe In 60: Frequent Tire Inspections Will Save Lives And Save You Money
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – Almost two years ago, Utah lawmakers removed the safety inspection requirement for most vehicles. That means it is our responsibility to keep us and those around us safe on the roads by properly maintaining our vehicles.
If a member of law enforcement sees any equipment violations, they have been tasked with stopping and requiring the equipment be fixed either though a “fix it” ticket or a citation.
Police officers spot a number of safety issues on Utah roads, including tinted windows, vehicle lifts and worn out brakes. But one of the most dangerous is bald tires.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are around 11,000 traffic accidents each year in the United States because of worn tires. In 2017, 738 people were killed in tire-related crashes.
No one loves buying a new set of tires. It’s a pricy investment. But your safety and the safety of others depend on it.
Inspecting your tires frequently can help them last longer, which in turn, saves you money.
It’s important to know the correct PSI for your tires. That can be found in the owner’s manual, or on the inside frame of the driver’s door. Tires lose about one PSI each month, and under-inflated tires lower gas mileage and wear the tires down faster. Check the tire pressure monthly and make sure all four tires are at the correct PSI. You should check more frequently when the outside temperatures fluctuate.
You should thoroughly inspect the tread every three months. You can do this by using the penny method: place a penny head down into the grooves of the tire. If you can still see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
Tires also have a wear bar. If that bar is flush with the rest of the tire’s tread, the tire needs to be replaced.
Tires should typically be rotated every six months, or every 6,000-8,000 miles.
Most newer vehicles have a tire pressure monitoring system, but don’t just rely on that warning light on your dash. Many won’t alert you until the pressure is significantly low – about 25% below where it should be.
It’s still a good idea to have a mechanic inspect your tires every year. It’s much easier to see the inside tread if the vehicle is on a lift.
Never use a spare to replace a worn-out tire permanently. They are only designed for temporarily use.
If you are involved in an accident because of equipment that should have been replaced like bald tires, you could be held liable.
Safety Inspection and Emission testing laws defined: (Utah DMV)
Effective January 1, 2018, the State of Utah removed the safety inspection requirement for most vehicles as a prerequisite for registration. Vehicles that still require a safety inspection are listed below.
- Salvage vehicles that have been rebuilt and are requesting a rebuilt title.
- First time street legal ATV registrations. This includes ownership transfers for previously registered street legal ATVs.
- Commercial vehicles are required to obtain a safety inspection for display and presenting to law enforcement, but it is not a prerequisite for registration
Emission testing is still required in Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, Cache and Weber Counties. Vehicles less than 6 years old are required to have emissions tests once every two years. Vehicles that have even model year register on even years, and vehicles that are odd year models register on odd years.
- All vehicles 2013-1968-required
- 2015, 2017 – required
- 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 not required
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