Why buy Wet Weather Tyres?
There’s no getting away from it….it rains in the UK….a lot! There is a phrase in the North West of England “there’s no such thing as bad weather….only inappropriate clothing” and the same could certainly be said of tyres. When the sky opens up and the road is covered with standing water the risk of aquaplaning is very high and you can no longer guarantee full control of the car , especially when the tyres are worn.
The best thing to do to ensure that you are well prepared for the wet driving conditions is to drive with tyres that are optimised to disperse away the surface water from under the tyre’s contact area. Speed plays a big role when it comes to aquaplaning, so it is always recommended to reduce speeds to maintain control of your vehicle. What is a Wet Weather Tyre?
Many tyre companies manufacture tyres that are designed especially for wet weather driving situations which are characterized by their side exit threads which have been incorporated into the tyre tread design to expel water from the road surface. A great example of how important having the appropriate tyre for the conditions is can be seen in motor racing where teams will have one type of tyre for wet tracks and another very different tyre for dry tracks. The “wets” have deep grooves in a tread who’s pattern is designed to provide the best possible grip and disperse as much water as possible. Check your tread depth!
Too little tyre tread depth can lead to the deterioration of a tyre's performance during cornering, and straight line braking in the wet. A tyre is unable to deal with the same volume of water on the road at lower tread depths, which means that the tyre is unable to transmit traction and braking forces to the road as effectively. At the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, the stopping distance can be increased by as much as 44% when compared to a new tyre according to tests carried out by the British Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents recommends that tyres are replaced once the tread reaches 3mm in depth.
The relative wet braking performance of new tyres is one of the categories on the new EU Tyre Label which you can read more about here.