24 Jul 2015
The Effects of Heat and Rain on the Performance of Tires
Posted By Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez
Summer weather can affect the performance of your tires, increasing the risk for an auto accident, especially here in Tampa. NHTSA estimates that tire failure causes approximately 11,000 auto accidents per year. Two factors of summer weather can dramatically change the efficiency of your tires, heat and rain.
Heat is your tires worst enemy. Heat increases the temperature of the pavement and makes the air inside the tire to expand, causing it to over inflate. Hot weather causes tires to build pressure and overheat much more quickly, which can cause tire blowouts. You should regularly check the pressure in your tires to meet manufacture standards.
Rain can make your vehicle hydroplane. This is when your tires moving quickly across a wet surface. Your tires lose all traction because the water causes the tires to lift away from the road. If your vehicle begins to hydroplane, do not brake or turn suddenly. This could throw your car into a skid. It is important that you hold the wheel firmly and don’t steer in any other direction but straight ahead.
Slowly, take your foot off the gas until the car slows and your steering returns to normal. However, if you need to brake, remember to do it gently with light pumping actions. If your car has anti-lock brakes (ABS), then you should be able to brake normally because your car’s computer will mimic the pumping action.
Tire features that affect the possibility of hydroplaning:
- Tire size – The wider the contact patch is relative to its length. Long and narrow contact patch helps to provide predictable handling.
- Tire tread pattern – certain tread patterns reduce the risk of hydroplaning, because they channel water more effectively
- Tire tread depth – Worn tires reduce the ability to resist hydroplaning.
- Tire pressure – keep your tire pressure within the manufacturers recommended pressures.
Be careful driving in this hot and rainy weather, and make sure your tires are in optimal condition. If you have been injured in an accident, please call our office for a free consultation at (813) 774-3341.