Comment 28726

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted February 16, 2009 at 12:18:11

8 tires last 10 years. I was trying to save space and let readers do the math.

I don't drive a lot, 10,000 k/year lately, but at that rate the snows last 8-10 years. So 5 years should be easy for average driving, assuming they are only run for 5 months of the winter. A month extra of warm temps can pile on the wear on soft rubber.

"summer tires" - you mean performance tires not rated as all-season? When warm, these will improve stopping, but only by a little, nothing significant like what happens at the other end of the friction scale. Consider that they are usually worse in wet conditions than all-seasons. Also, reaction times would generally overwhelm this small difference that is really only relevant to racers, as it is well beyond what is encountered in normal driving.

e.g. using an extreme case 120 km/h and all-seasons at u=0.8, performance tires at u=0.85, the stopping distance is 4 m shorter, less than a car length.

Oversteer and understeer are very vehicle-specific factors. Otherwise similar cars can have very different control performance at handling limits, and this is certainly influenced by tires etc. I agree that it is useful to have this skill, but as far as safety goes it's nearly irrelevant.

I think most people would agree that these kinds of driving skills are better performed my male drivers, but statistics show that at every age group, men have about twice the crash and fatality rate, drunk or sober, so clearly women, with arguably less advanced driving skills, are the safer drivers. It's all about judgment and risk taking, very little about skill. What matters on the racetrack has very little to do with the road.

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