Tire Traction in Harsh Conditions


Losing Traction in Unfavorable Motoring Conditions

When motoring in unfavorable weather the chances of your MINI’s handling, performance, and safety being negatively impacted increase. In normal driving conditions, breaking on a dry road  from a speed of 35 miles per hour provides an average stopping distance of 60 to 100 feet. When that road becomes wet from rain, that variable increases stopping distance by 120 feet or more. A snow covered road increases stopping distance by 180 feet or more. An icy road drastically increases stopping distance to 600 feet or more!

Include external conditions, such as weather, as one of the four road-related factors that affect the motoring of your MINI, along with tire wear, type of tire, and tire age. Negative external conditions can increase the negative impact the above mentioned factors have on the handling, safety, and performance of your MINI. New tires, with a tread depth of 10/32 inches have a stopping distance of 195 feet on a wet road, which is equal to 5 school buses. A wet road’s effect on bald tires (2/32 inches of tread depth) is detrimental by increasing the stopping distance to 379 feet or a length of 9.5 school buses!

Since external factors are out of your control, routinely checking your tire condition will help decrease the negative impact external conditions have on your MINI. Consumer Reports states, “about 9% of vehicle crashes are tire-related, according to estimates from a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” Considering tire related accidents are avoidable with routine tire checks, 9% is a substantial percentage. At Otto’s MINI, we care about your safety, so we’re offering complimentary tire checks, including, inspecting tread depth, tire pressure, sidewalls, and tire age. Receive a complimentary tire check by either scheduling an appointment online and requesting the tire check or stopping in and visiting our MINI Service department for a check (wait times will vary based on the day’s appointments). Click below to learn more about the Otto’s MINI Tire Care Checklist.

Tips for Traveling in Unfavorable Driving Conditions

Routine tire checks and replacements are the primary way to ensure safe motoring; however there are some other safe driving tips for unfavorable conditions, such as rain or snow. These tips are all AAA recommendations.

  • Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in-front of you for ample stopping space.
  • Avoid using cruise control to help you identify and react quicker to traction loss.
  • Reduce your traveling speed, hard breaking, and sharp turns, which are all traction dependent.
  • If the vehicle begins to hydroplane, do not break suddenly! To avoid skidding, gently ease off the accelerator and continue normal steering until traction is regained.