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How tires contribute to cars’ stopping distance?

car tires

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 realizes the importance and subtlety of the condition as well as the role of tires 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 tire 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 tires are a serious threat to the driver, vehicle, and all those who are nearby. Both defects affect the ability of the tire 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

Tire treads; the grooves or markings on the rubber body dispel water so that the wheel can properly grip the road. A new set of tires very effective as compared to the worn counterparts and lesser traction means increased braking distance hence, safety compromised.

Tyre pressure matters, no matter the weather

Under-inflated tires can steer the car uncontrollably the moment brakes applied due to compromised traction. On the contrary, over-inflation reduces the tire’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. That means irrespective of the weather or the road condition, properly balanced and inflated wheels is crucial.

Shorter stopping distance, greater the safety

Although hazards can vary per the road and the environment. The driver should always be prepared to stop when need be. In trafficked areas or while driving in metropolises, drivers need to be careful of pedestrians, especially children. That may come in front of a speedy vehicle without warning.

Such accidents do 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 to pay extra for top-quality 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 tires come with a substandard rubber compound that doesn’t grip well to the road. Thus resulting in longer braking distance, especially on wetter roads.


Car tire fitting must be done under the supervision of professionals. So as to ensure safety and maximize overall performance with just the perfect braking distance.