Tyres and Stopping Distance 

 

Tyres and stopping distance are closely associated. Most individuals believe that worn tread is only dangerous in wet weather. Driving conditions are not the only reason your safety, and the safety of your passengers may be compromised. 

If you fail to replace your tyres when they are worn, you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Wet weather increases your risk in loosing control of your vehicle. In the best case scenario if you crash, you may find your insurance claim is rejected due to neglecting car servicing. This means your car is not road worthy. In the worst case, you harm surrounding drivers or your passengers. There is not enough urgency placed upon tyre safety and tread depth. You should be periodically checking tread depth on all tyres, including your spare. 

Tyres and Stopping Distance

Braking distance is compromised when tread is worn. You should replace your tyres when your tread is 3.0mm, while the minimum legal tread depth in Australia is 1.6mm. Braking and handling is not actioned to the vehicles ability when tread is worn. 

When travelling at 80km/h in the wet, you see a hazard in the road and need to stop quickly. On a new tyre, you’ll come to a stop comfortably and with reduced risk of aquaplaning. On a tyre that’s been worn down to 3.0mm in tread depth, the same car will still be travelling over 30km/h at the point the new tyre would have stopped, and will take an additional 9.5m to stop. (NRMA, 2019)

Poor fuel efficiency, aquaplaning, fines, loss of air pressure, driving comfort, susceptible to punctures and invalid insurance are the hidden consequences of poor tread depth. 

Uneven tread wear can also compromise your driving ability and patters can be identified by overinflation, underinflation and alignment. 

 

Tyres and Stopping Distance. Image via NRMA. 

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