Is Your Car Still for Long Time? Its Tyres Can Put You in Risk of an Accident
Apart from simple wear and tear most of the “things” with less usage can go really long. However, it is not the case with every item. There are few things that go bald with less usage and your car’s tyres are one classic example. Irrespective of how neatly you maintain your still car’s body, while it’s in a garage, your car can still go bonkers and can put you at a risk of accident. So, your adorable car is not something which can increase its longevity by standing still. Physics plays an important role in understanding the condition of your car and its tyres and why the risk of accident increases with aged tyres. Or you may even have a whopping fine for using a car with bald tyres as you not only pose threat to yourself but for others on the road. Let’s make an effort to understand the consequences of running a car which stood still for long time in a garage there by increasing the risk of accident.
What are tyre treads and how do they effect?
Treads are the crucial ones in providing sufficient traction to grip the road in all conditions such as snow, mud, rain etc. Without these apparent lines on the tyres, cars would go cranky on terrains which are slick, wet or icy. However, these treads are not required if we have to drive on dry roads as smooth tyres are best suitable when it comes to gripping dry terrains. The best example is a race car. You might have observed race cars having no treads. But we all know about Indian road conditions as we dwell in a geography which has tropical climate with extremes of cold and heat along with snows and rains. Hence, it becomes mandatory for the manufacturers to provide treads on tyres that run on Indian roads in order to maintain the safety precautions.
Tyre manufacturers diligently sculpt treads as channels on the tyre’s surface. These treads in turn protect us by spilling the water away from the tyre on roads wet with rains. This increases the tyres grip on the road even when the road conditions are full of snow or rain water. After all, it is important for a car to follow the drivers’ instructions through the steering to avoid risk of accidents.
Why is driving on bald tyres vulnerable for accidents
Though it has been 5 years of Paul Walker’s car accident, it still is in our fresh layers of memory. Although the car’s tyres are not to be blamed for the accident, it is a fact that those tyres are nine years old. We can’t call them bald but bald tyres are potential causes of accidents for multiple other reasons.
Risk of hydroplaning:
This is familiar concept in Physics that the process of water layer getting in between the tyre and surface of the road is known as Hydroplaning. When this occurs, the tyre loses its grip on the road, making the car spin out of control which is highly dangerous. The contemporary tyre tread patterns are designed with deep grooves to push water away from the tyre there by enabling it to have a tight grip on the road when rain water is accumulated. Since the treads wear out in time, the grooves sculpted come up much shallower, making them ineffective at channelizing water away from the tyres. The smoother the tyre, the higher the risk of hydroplaning, even on the slightest of wet roads.
A simple concept to understand as we teach in 6th grade Physics about friction. We all know that the weight of your vehicle increases friction between your tyres and the road surface and creates heat too. The faster you steer, the higher heat the tyre should be able to bear and when it fails, it is dangerous. This is why the car tyres should always have sufficient tread depth. Treads enable the tyre cool down by allowing air flow in between the tyre grooves and the road. The current trends in tyres are designed to withstand high heat levels. However, when the treads wear out, the heat generated can lead to tyre burst making you lose your car’s control especially at higher velocities and increase the risk of accidents.
Skids on snowy surfaces are pretty common with old tyres as they have worn out treads. Similarly, tyres for extreme winters should have tiny sculpted channels into the tread edges to improve the grip on the road. Tyre manufacturers are equipping the tyres with tiny ‘snipes’ for additional grip but if the tyres get bald, so does the snipes. Meager air pressure can also put your car in danger and bald tyres deflate soon in comparison to newer tyres. These are simple preventive measures to lower the risk of accidents in densely populated Indian circumstances. After all, prevention is better than cure and hence check out for your car tyres’ condition to stay safe.
Your ability to file a claim for vehicle repairs depends on the cause of the damage and the coverages that you have. Choose a good car insurance policy, but at the same time, take precautions to avoid situations where claiming becomes difficult.