Whatever the situation or type of road you’re driving on, when you need to stop, you need to be able to do so safely and quickly. Do you know how important your tyres are in situations like this? Not many people do, so ASDA Tyres team thought it best to give the topic the focus it deserves.
Here’s an interesting definition from the Highway Code that we think is worth passing on. What we all remember as “stopping distance” actually consists of two phases. First, there’s “thinking distance” – the time it takes for the driver to react. And then comes “braking distance” – how far the car travels after the brakes have been applied, until it stops. Braking distances can double when it’s wet. Yes, that’s right, double. Read on to learn more.
Tyre condition affects stopping distances
Worn or incorrectly inflated tyres pose a serious risk, not only to drivers and their passengers, but to other road users and pedestrians too. Both issues affect the way your tyre is able to grip the road, and the tyre tread expel water in wet driving conditions.
Tyre pressures matter, whatever the weather
Under-inflated tyres make your car more difficult to control because the tyres can’t get a proper grip on the road surface. When they have too much air in them, the part of the tyre that makes contact with the road is reduced, which results in less grip. Less grip means it takes longer to stop, whatever the weather.
If you want to learn more about this, read our article about tyre pressures.
As well as being unsafe, incorrectly inflated tyres wear out unevenly and need replacing more often. Under-inflated tyres wear at the tyre edges, which affects driver handling. Over-inflated tyres wear more at the tyre centre, resulting in a loss of tyre tread just where it makes most contact with the road, and where you need the most grip.
Shorter stopping distances mean being safer everywhere
The hazards may change but – wherever you drive – you always need be prepared to stop.
In town, we need to be alert to pedestrians – particularly children who can step out without warning. It happens. In the countryside, it could be an oncoming car on a narrow lane, while on the motorway a sudden build-up of traffic might mean you’re suddenly braking to avoid slamming into the cars ahead. In all of these situations – and many more – your ability to stop quickly can prevent accidents and save lives – including your own.
Are premium tyres safer, reducing stopping distances?
Why pay extra for premium tyres? It’s a question we’re often asked at ASDA Tyres, and we understand why. Alongside evidence that premium tyres are in fact less expensive over time than budget tyres is another, much more important answer. If you value your safety and that of the people around you, it’s clear – premium tyres are the correct choice.
Your ability to react quickly, your brakes and tyres you purchase are the three crucial factors in being able to stop quickly and safely. And the simple truth is that budget tyres – due to their lower quality rubber composition – just aren’t as effective at gripping the road, resulting in a significantly longer stopping time and distance, especially in wet conditions.
Next steps to ensuring safer stopping distances
If you’re concerned about the quality of your tyres and want expert advice on the best ones to buy for your car, contact the ASDA Tyres professionals online for impartial advice. Our tyre team can also answer any questions you have about stopping distances, how to spot the signs of tyre wear, and advise you on tyre pressures. Click here to live chat with one of our experts, or find your nearest fitting station.