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Ugly'

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Tyre Tread Depth Vs. Stopping Distance

Beleive it or not, relatively bald tyres can stop you quicker and better than tyres with plenty of tread depth!

Tyre'

The reason for this is simply that with bald tyres there is simply more rubber in contact with the road, whereas when a tyre has a good tread depth, there is a significant percentage of the tyre that is not in contact with the road.

The Legal Requirements

This arguement however is simply not going to wash with a police officer! The legal requirements in the UK state that you must have a minimum of 1.6mm depth of tread across the central three quarters of your tyre and around the entire outer circumference. Having tyres on your car that do not meet this requirement could result in receiveing 3 penalty points on your driving licence and a fine of up to 1000 pounds PER TYRE!

The reason for the law is basically for the purpose of wet weather driving. The grooves in the tread of the tyre are designed to disperse water when the road is wet.

Tests have shown that even a tread depth of 1.6mm can be insufficient for stopping in certain conditions compared to a depth of 3mm. Some European countries reflect this by having a minimum legal tread depth of 3mm as opposed to 1.6mm

The general principle can be seen with Formula 1 racing cars. The best grip is with tyres known as Slicks. These are basically (but much more than) bald tyres. However, the moment there is any water on the racing track, the cars start to slide all over the place and have to pitstop to change to wet weather tyres, which have tread.


This article was provided on belalf of a compare driving schools website covering Driving Lessons Birmingham and intensive driving courses Dudley.

I Hate Potholes

In January/February potholes can be at their worst. They can be wider and deeper due to the icy conditions, but councils have not had the opportunity to fill them in.

The reason that potholes get worse in bad weather is for the simple reason that water expands when frozen. Water gets into the potholes, filling every ‘nook’ and ‘cranny’, it then freezes, therefore expanding and forcing the hole apart further and pushing some of the contents out.

Pothole'

Potholes can seriously damage your car. From tyre damage from simply hitting the sharp edge of a hole, to the more expensive damage of the suspension being ‘shunted’ beyond what it can cope with, potholes are a hazard for everyone.

Another significant issue is the safety issue – when someone driving their car makes a sudden change in speed or direction to avoid one of these potholes. Imagine the disaster if someone was to swerve at the last moment to avoid a pothole at the same time as someone else had begun to overtake!

Again, what if someone was to do some last minute braking so they didn’t hit a pothole as hard – only to find that the car behind was too close! Yes it would be argued that the car behind was too close, but the situation would certainly have been initiated by the pothole in the road.

It was recently reported that a Coventry driving school had begun driving lessons specifically to avoid potholes safely!

Whether this next ‘fact’ is true or not – I also heard that one council had resolved to pay the insurance claims as opposed to fixing the roads themselves as it would be cheaper – how short sighted!

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