Heels & Horsepower Magazine


5 Driving Habits That Affect Tyre Wear and Safety

Your driving habits have a significant impact on the health and longevity of your tyres, as well as your safety on the road.

To maintain the health of your tyres and ensure your safety on the road, it’s important to adopt safe driving habits. This includes driving within the recommended speed limit, taking corners carefully and smoothly, avoiding overloading your vehicle, and driving on well-maintained roads as often as you can.

Here are some ways your driving style can affect your tyres:

1. Speeding and Hard Acceleration

The most common driving style that damages your tyres is hard acceleration and driving at high speeds, both of which cause your tyres to wear out faster due to increased heat and friction. High friction produces increased heat, which in turn leads to tyre wear.  Additionally, hard acceleration causes bits of rubber from the tyre to shred and chip off, thereby further increasing wear and tear.  Similarly, speeding increases heat and friction, putting more stress on your tyres. The best thing to do is drive gently to help improve the longevity of your tyres.

2. Hard Braking

Similar to hard acceleration, hard braking can also lead to premature tyre damage. Frequent emergency braking has an adverse effect on the car’s suspension and leads to uneven wear of tyres. Driving in city traffic often includes hard braking, but this can be minimised by maintaining a safe following distance, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.  

3. Cornering

Taking corners too quickly or aggressively can also cause your tyres to wear unevenly, as the outside edges of the tyres are constantly under stress. This can lead to poor grip and reduced handling, making your vehicle less safe to drive.

4. Overloading

Overloading your vehicle beyond its recommended weight limit causes excessive stress on your tyres. The tyre of a car is designed to carry a particular maximum weight as prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer.  This weight is known as the load rating and is marked on the tyre’s sidewall and in the car owner’s manual.  By overloading your vehicle, you increase pressure on the tyre, weakening its internal structure which not only leads to faster wear and tear, but an increased risk of tyre bursts.

5. Driving On Rough Roads, Debris And Over Curbs

Driving on rough or poorly maintained roads such as potholes and debris causes your tyres to wear out faster, as they are exposed to more friction.  Hitting harshly against a curb can easily cause cracks on the rubber of a tyre and damage the wheel, rim, steering components and suspension.  Remember to drive slowly and carefully in built-up areas and look out for unmarked curbs.

Regular tyre checks and maintenance can help detect any potential issues before they become major problems. By changing your driving habits, you can extend the life of your tyres and enjoy a safer drive.

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