Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and received the nickname “Honest Abe,” thanks to his steadfast understanding of right and wrong. More than two centuries after his birth, Lincoln is still giving honest assessments, only now he helps in judging roadworthiness.

Worn tires are a leading contributor to vehicle crashes, but the naked eye can’t always discern what is and is not a suitable tread. This, and many other safety tips, can be found in materials for Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) put forth by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).  

The DSWW campaign provides great tips for each day of the work week.  Thursday’s tip focuses on the condition of your vehicle, from having a breakdown plan to making sure tire pressure is correct. The common U.S. penny, which bears the image of Lincoln, can be used to judge whether your tires are ready to hit the road or ready for the recyclers.

STEP 1: Hold a penny between your thumb and forefinger with Abe’s head pointing downward.

STEP 2: Put the penny head-first into one of the grooves on the tread. Select a point on your tire where the tread appears the lowest.

STEP 3: The top of Abe Lincoln’s head will be obscured if your tread is 2/32” or greater. If you can see above his head, where it says “In God We Trust,” your tires are worn past 2/32” of an inch and it’s time to replace them.

Drive Safely Work Week, which has been sponsored by NETS since 1996, encourages businesses to utilize a free campaign toolkit to help educate employees on the importance of safety. This year’s campaign is entitled, “Gear up for safe driving: Mind-Body-Vehicle”.  It highlights how being mindful of physical and mental wellness – along with the “health” of your vehicle – are all connected in making us safer drivers.