Tyres are so vital for your safety when you drive that good tyres will always help improve safety when you drive in the same way that bad tyres will increase the risk for accidents and decrease your safety. Most tyre shop will have a wide range of different tyres for sale, some will be cheaper and some more expensive, and with limited knowledge, it is difficult to make a correct decision. The EU made it mandatory for tyre manufacturers to add a label to the tyres sold within the EU. The label displays information regarding the tyres wet grip, fuel efficiency and tyre noise. The label aims to at least simplify the selection a bit. Your first decision should be if you need summer tyres or winter tyres and if it is for a passenger car or an SUV.
These might not be the most critical selections for you, but they are general enough that everyone should be concerned about them. Purchasing tyres with low rolling resistance is advantageous so that you can benefit from good fuel efficiency. You might rank it as highly as safety, but it is still important. The wet grip is a good indicator for safety, as you can figure out how fast a vehicle will get to a full stop on wet roads. The wet grip will indicate the safety of the tyres is good. Good grip on wet roads is harder to achieve than on dry roads, so the wet grip was selected. The tyre noise will impact the driving comfort, where a high tyre noise can be very disturbing, and even if it is too high, it can be damaging to your health if you are exposed to long term noise above the dangerous level.
It is not only the tyre selection that impacts safety; tyre maintenance is just as important. Good tyres with bad tyre pressure will not behave optimally, so you must keep checking that the tyre pressure is at the correct level. Driving with too low tyre pressure will wear out the tyres faster and will increase the rolling resistance. If you chose tyres with low rolling resistance, and then drive with low tyre pressure, you would cancel that effect of low rolling resistance. The higher rolling resistance will lead to increased wear and fuel consumption.
The tyres will start to wear over time, and you must keep track of the reduction of the tread depth so that you know when the grooves are approaching 4mm. Once you go below, you lose many properties such as short braking distance, control and safety. The risk for aquaplaning is also increased. When you reach the 4 mm tread depth, it is time to change to a new set of tyres. Frequent rotation of the tyres will ensure that your front and rear tyres will wear equally so that all the four tyres will reach the 4 mm almost simultaneously.
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