The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Is Driving on Worn-Out Tires Considered Reckless Driving?

Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense lawyerIt is against Illinois law to knowingly drive on tires that are old and worn out. The result of traveling on worn tires could be having a blowout and losing control of your vehicle. This is why driving with worn tires can be punishable as reckless driving.

The knowledge of the tires being worn out is what will convict a person of reckless driving. This is because the offending driver knew they were driving a vehicle that was unsafe, thus putting other drivers at risk of a crash.

How Do I Know if My Tires are Worn Out?

On average, a tire should be replaced every three or four years. If a driver does not remember when they changed their tires last, they can either refer to Illinois’ vehicle code regarding tire requirements or use the penny test.

If a driver inserts a penny into one of the grooves of the tire with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the tread does not cover Lincoln’s forehead, it is time to replace the tire. According to Illinois law, tires are considered “unsafe” if:

  • Any part of the ply or cords are exposed
  • The tread is cut or cracked enough to expose cords
  • The tire is bulging, knotted, or separated in places
  • Depth of tread grooving is less than 2/23 of an inch
  • The tire bears any markings which identify it as a tire not to be driven on the highway
  • The tire has been regrooved past the original depth

Illinois police officers have the right to stop any vehicles they believe should have their tires inspected. If the tires are found to be unsafe, the officer can issue a reckless driving citation.

Reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Punishments include up to one year in prison and fines of up to $2,500 not including court fees.

If a driver causes a collision after worn-out tires malfunction on the road, the charges could potentially be worse. If a victim is injured in a crash, the driver could face charges of vehicular assault. Even worse, if a victim is killed, the driver could face reckless homicide charges that - if convicted - lead to up to five years in jail.

The driver will also be responsible for compensating a victim for damages to their vehicle and medical bills for any injury sustained in a crash.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

The best defense an alleged reckless driver could use when facing charges is to hire a lawyer to represent them in court. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience defending drivers from a variety of traffic charges. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.



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