How tyres contribute to a cars stopping distance
Despite the condition of the road, weather and driving style, when you need to apply brakes abruptly, it has to be safe and quick. However, not everyone realises the importance and subtlety of the condition as well as the role of tyres in all this!
Looking at the definition from the renowned Highway Code, the term “stopping distance” can be broken into two parts. “Thinking Distance” which is the time it takes a driver to respond and “Braking Distance” that’s the total distance covered by the car after application of the brakes.
With this, it’s worth noting that braking distance doubles on wetter terrain so is there something you can do about this! The right car tyre fitting matters most here but there’re other factors you should know so read on to find out more!
The tyre condition
Incorrect inflation or worn tyres are a serious threat to driver, vehicle and all those who’re nearby. Both defects affect the ability of the tyre to grip the road which we refer to as road traction alongside the tread’s ability to dispel water on wet conditions to prevent aquaplaning.
Worn tyres are downright dangerous
Tyre treads; the grooves or markings on the rubber body dispel water so that the wheel can properly grip the road. New set of tyres are very effective as compared to the worn counterparts and lesser traction means increased braking distance hence, safety is being compromised.
Tyre pressure matters, no matter the weather
Under-inflated tyres can steer the car uncontrollably the moment brakes are applied due to compromised traction. On the contrary, over-inflation reduces the tyre’s ability to come in contact with the road or worse, they can burst if instant brakes are applied. Both of these conditions are dangerous to safety which means irrespective of the weather or the road condition, properly balanced and inflated wheels are crucial.
Shorter stopping distance, greater the safety
Although hazards can vary per the road and the environment, driver should always be prepared to stop when need be. In trafficked areas or while driving in metropolises, driver’s need to be careful of pedestrians especially children that may come in front of a speedy vehicle without warning.
Such accidents does happen in urban areas which is most unfortunate however, the blame isn’t on the driver alone. Factors that contribute are surrounding traffic, condition of the tyre and much more.
Premium tyres – Are they a safer & better option
People often ask why pay extra for premium tyres when they can go with cheaper counterparts! The real fact however isn’t the cost but the end result which is safety, quality of driving and of course, the stopping distance of the vehicle when you hit the brakes. Cheaper tyres come with substandard rubber compound that don’t grip well to the road thus resulting in longer braking distance, especially on wetter roads.
Car tyre fitting must be done under the supervision of professionals so as to ensure safety and maximise overall performance with just the perfect braking distance.