Four Ways Tire Size and Type Can Affect Your Drive

Each time you get into your vehicle you are relying on your tires to get you where you need to go safely. Having the right tires installed on your vehicle and making sure those tires are in good condition is vital if you want to stay safe on the road and travel efficiently. Determining which tires are the right tires for your vehicle may be difficult at times because different tire sizes and types are designed for certain vehicle types and driving conditions. For example, it is known that tires which work fine in summer weather on flat roads are often not suitable for off road-activities or winter travel. However, even though you know switching tires may be necessary at times, you may not understand why that is the case. Understanding your vehicle’s tires and how they work is vital to making each ride as safe and smooth as possible, as well as preventing unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle and reducing accident risks. Below is a list of four ways tire size and type can affect your drive.

Tire Size Impacts Speed and Load Bearing Capabilities

Each tire that is installed on a vehicle or is sold separately as a replacement tire has a series of numbers that communicate specific ratings. The numbers on each tire represent how much weight that particular tire can support and the maximum speed that tire model can handle, assuming it is bearing the maximum weight. The tire’s speed and weight bearing capabilities are directly influenced by the diameter and general size of the respective tire, which are also listed on each tire. The information listed on the tire can be used to determine which tire size is appropriate for the respective vehicle when shopping for replacement tires.

When a new vehicle is sold, it is typically already equipped with the optimum tires based on calculations made by the company executives when the vehicle was manufactured. When it is time to replace the tires on your vehicle, you may choose to get the exact same models to avoid speed and load bearing issues and to keep the buying process simple. However, you can opt for a generic brand or a slightly different tire model if you want to change the performance of the vehicle to some extent or if you would like to reduce your costs.

Tire Type Directly Affects Traction

Choosing the proper type of tire for your vehicle is also essential because each type of tire has a different tread design and depth. The tread of a tire allows it to grip the road, giving the vehicle essential traction needed during activities such as braking or turning. Deeper tire treads help the vehicle to maintain a higher level of traction, especially during wet weather. Deep tire treads can also help off road vehicles to navigate over muddy or rocky terrain successfully.

The depth of tire tread you need for your vehicle depends on the type of vehicle you own and the conditions under which you intend to drive. However, the law dictates that for safety purposes, you must have a tire tread depth of 2/32 inches or greater. You must also be mindful of the fact that tire tread wears out over time, which means that your tread will get shallower the more you travel. Additionally, it is possible for one of your tires to develop uneven tread wear due to rolling over potholes or other obstacles, causing eventual vehicle performance issues.

Tire Types Impact General Handling and Driving Comfort

Handling is the general term used to describe how comfortably and quickly your car responds to your steering actions. If the tires on your vehicle are not optimal for the size and style of the vehicle, the handling may become sluggish, causing your car to have difficulty braking or turning smoothly. You may also find that your general comfort while driving is reduced if your tires are not the proper types for your vehicle. Tires that are too large or otherwise incorrect may make your ride feel far bumpier than it usually would. For example, if you use base model tires on a sports car, you will notice a more sluggish response time than your vehicle would give you if the proper tires were installed.

Tire Types Impact Seasonal and Situational Safety

The vehicle industry has designed certain types of tires to be used for specific purposes. For instance, snow tires, which are tires with specially designed and typically deeper treads, may be particularly helpful to you if you plan to travel in snowy or icy conditions. If you are planning to travel in the summer, all-season or summer tires may be sufficient because they handle well in most conditions except for snow, ice and excessive mud. Equipping the right tire for the season or purpose of your driving trip is essential for your safety. Having the wrong tires for the season or conditions may lead to your vehicle becoming stuck in mud or snow. You may also lose control of the vehicle, causing it to skid off the road or into other vehicles, which may result in property damage, injuries or deaths.