The importance of stopping distances in wet weather
Stopping distances are a vital factor for vehicle safety. Many different factors can influence this including the weather, temperatures and your vehicles tyres play a vital part in influencing the actual time and distance it takes to stop safely.
Many drivers think that the stopping distance is the actual distance your vehicle travels once you have pressed on the break. This is, in fact, the braking distance, the thinking distance refers to the amount of time it actually takes you to decide you need to press that brake.
If you are alert, your reaction time will be a lot quicker than if you are tired or distracted in some way. During poor weather conditions such as rain etc, your visibility may also be a lot poorer, therefore your thinking distance will be also affected by this factor. Another important point when it comes to determining your stopping distance is the speed you are travelling. The condition of your tyres also influences your ability to brake more quickly. Tyre damage and lack of tread depth can all reduce your vehicle’s ability when it comes to braking efficiently.
Summer and winter tyres
Drivers in the UK, mostly tend to use summer tyres, however, winter tyres over recent years and conditions have become a lot more popular. In Europe, the situation is different with a lot of drivers switching to winter tyres towards the end of the year. The mistake many people make is they often think that winter tyres are only appropriate for snow conditions and many drivers decide not to change over to winter tyres.
The main factor for using winter tyres is actually the temperature. When the temperature gets down to 7 degrees and below, stopping distances are a lot shorter for vehicles fitted with winter tyres than those vehicles with summer tyres. The winter tyres are created from different compounds to summer ones and they are designed to perform much better during lower temperatures. Furthermore, summer tyres have less grip on the roads than winter tyres. On the opposite side, winter tyres are made using softer compounds which are not designed to cope with temperatures rising above 7 degrees.
Getting the best of both worlds
All season tyres can be a great solution by combining the characteristics of both winter and summer tyres to make a tyre which is suitable for all weather conditions. However, an important factor to note is that as they are not specifically designed for either summer or winter, they will not perform as good in their respective seasons. They can be a great good performance tyre all year round, especially in countries like the UK which has a more moderate climate.
Need advice for your tyres?
Finally, if you are unsure of which are the best tyres for your vehicle, call into our tyre dealership at Tudhoe, Durham and we will be happy to advise you. You will find all our details on our contact us page.
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