Your tyres are the only link between your vehicle and the road – a critical contact area no bigger than the palm of your hand. They provide the vital grip for braking and the control of your steering – essential to you stopping safely in an emergency. The distance it takes you to stop can be the difference between life and death.
It takes longer to stop on worn tyres
How the tyre tread depth affects braking distances
A new tyre has about 7-8mm of tread and although the legal minimum is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre, recent research recommends you change your tyres at 3mm for your safety and performance*.
As tread depth decreases, your stopping distance will increase. Incorrect tyre pressures also cause longer braking distances as the tyre’s surface contact with the road is less effective. Make sure your tread is safe and legal.
Keep a safe distance
It is imperative that you leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops. The table below shows how various speeds affect your total stopping distance:
|Speed||Thinking Distance||Braking Distance||Total Stopping Distance|
|30mph||9 metres||14 metres||6 car lengths (23 metres)|
|50mph||15 metres||38 metres||13 car lengths (53 metres)|
|70mph||21 metres||75 metres||24 car lengths (96 metres)|
Note: these distances are general guides – they will depend on your attention (thinking distance), road surface, weather conditions and condition of your tyres and vehicle at the time. Average car length – 4 metres.**