Not trying to sound gloomy but the end of Halloween season is a sign the winter is drawing closer and the time has never been more perfect to check out your tyres. It is a sobering fact that on a wet road the stopping distance is greatly increased by up to 44% when tyres are worn down to less than the legal minimum requirement (1.6mm). it is recommended that your tyres be changed before it reaches this point as it can affect your stopping distance. This post is going to go through the connection between your tyres and your stopping distance and how they both need each other to function properly.
What is stopping distance
Stopping distance for cars when driving is a calculation based on the driver’s subjective thinking. It is the distance the car has travelled before the driver reacts to a hazard and the braking distance, which is how long the car takes to stop once the brake has been applied.
What affects your stopping distance?
There are various elements that can influence your stopping distance, your thinking distance and braking distance are among such things that can affect the overall stopping distance and both the thinking ad braking distance can be affected depending on various circumstances. It is important to remember that although you might be doing everything within your power to account for your stopping distance but sometimes it might be out of your control.
Other factors that affects your stopping distance includes;
Speed – Your stopping distance is made up of two major factors, thinking distance and braking distance. Your speed is one of the only factors that influences both your thinking and braking distance, the faster you are going, the greater the travel distance travelled before you apply the brakes and the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
Brakes – all modern tyres are normally fitted with Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) but not it is not necessarily a requirement, so some cars are without them. Brake pads have a block of friction material that pushes against the brake disc when the brakes are applied. This friction material can wear down over time and the brake disc can become grooved causing them to overheat and lose stopping power. Well maintained brakes will ultimately reduce your stopping distance but if you have driven through deep water, make sure that you pump the brake pedal a few times while driving slowly to dry them out.
Tyre Pressure – your tyres need to be in constant contact with the road, it needs to do this to maximise its contact with the road in order to provide the best possible stopping distance. When tyres are either over or under inflated it can lead to reduced contact patch. Both over and under inflation is bad news for you and your tyres as it can cause irregular wear and reduced traction. Checking your tyre pressure every month and using the recommended pressure in your user’s manual is an easy way to maintain your tyres and their ability to stop the vehicle.