Considering the enormous amount of technological advances and features that have been incorporated into modern cars, many drivers are surprised to find that tires are still the main factor influencing driving safety, efficiency and comfort.
Not surprisingly, the tires are the only element of the vehicle that is in direct contact with the road. That is why factors such as grip, stability or braking distance are directly affected by the condition and quality of those.
But that is not all
The level of fuel consumption and, therefore, that of CO2 emissions and polluting gases is also determined, to a large extent, by the covers you are using.
What are the driving areas affected by tires?
As we indicated a moment ago, tires have a global role in the driving experience.
Tires and Safety
First of all, they influence safety. The precision of the steering movements is an area fundamentally dictated by the performance of the tires.
However, there are also other aspects of safety, such as cornering stability, wet traction and, of course, the hydroplaning phenomenon, in which tires take about 50% of the responsibility for handling. of the car.
According to data provided by Continental, the braking distance in the wet is reduced by 19% when opting for high-quality tires.
Tires and Efficiency
The choice and condition of the tires have as much influence on fuel consumption as the technology used in your car’s engine. What’s more, mileage can be increased exponentially with the use of a high-performance compound.
If you want to learn how to reduce gasoline consumption to the maximum , we recommend reading our specialized article.
Tires and Comfort
The comfort experienced while driving is the most subjective factor of all we are indicating. However, elements such as noise and vibrations generated by the friction of the road surface on the asphalt can be easily measured and compared.
In this sense, this element of your vehicle, together with the engine, are the vehicle components that most influence the generation of this type of annoyance.
Tires and Mechanics
The mechanics of your car also suffer when the tires are not performing properly. Tires with little elasticity – such as those found in old and cracked tires – are not capable of absorbing vibrations adequately. Obviously, what the tire does not neutralize is transferred to the suspension and, through it, to the rest of the mechanical elements.
Find out here which are the most frequent mechanical breakdowns .
How does the quality and condition of the tires affect driving?
Tire deterioration and accident rate
According to a study carried out by the Spanish Foundation for Road Safety (FESVIAL), 55% of traffic accidents with fatalities attributable to vehicle failures are due to damage to the tires.
Unfortunately, a high percentage of Spanish drivers do not pay due attention to the condition of the wheels of their car .
Moreover, according to the data provided by Michelin, around 10% of the cars circulate with tires whose wear is higher than the established legal limit; in other words, the depth of the tread does not reach the 1.6 mm required by road regulations.
Attention: a worn tire does not only affect rainy conditions
It is often believed that the performance of worn tires is only reduced when it is raining or on wet pavement. Of course, the drainage capacity of water with a shallow tread is considerably less than optimal.
However, dry driving also suffers noticeable deterioration, manifested in considerable understeer when cornering and increased stopping distance.
Wheel pressure as a safety and efficiency factor
Besides the weight, the aerodynamics and characteristics of the engine, the rolling resistance is a key factor in the consumption.
How much are we talking about?
Around 20% of the total consumption of a vehicle is due to the tread of the tires. To ensure optimum performance, tires should have the specific pressure recommended by the manufacturer .
A lower pressure will increase the friction surface and the resistance of the tire. This will cause an increase in consumption.
According to the figures provided by the Michelin firm, a tire with a pressure between 1 and 2 bars below the recommended one can increase fuel consumption by more than one tank per year.
And with high pressure?
Having the wheels with a pressure higher than that specified by the manufacturer can lead to a slight decrease in fuel consumption. Unfortunately, the ability to grip decreases proportionally, which poses a risk to circulation.