A tire is made up of several elements that make it fulfill its function correctly. Knowing them minimally provides us with information that contributes to our road safety, comfort and savings. There are different tire sizes, equivalences and models, but usually a tire is made up of up to 200 compounds. The tire is one of the most important elements that make up the vehicle as a result of innumerable technological innovations. These innovations serve to ensure that the wheels of the car hold you firmly to the road when you drive, with the best performance and maximum safety in the car. They provide grip, transmit acceleration and braking force, making travel comfortable and guiding the vehicle accurately. Some of them fulfill a fundamental function in road safety, energy efficiency and performance.

FLANK. It consists of flexible rubber to adapt to the deformations of the tire in the rolling phase. Protects the tire from side bumps.

SHOULDER. The rubber of the shoulder is the thickest, because it is the part most exposed to the curbs and other blows, it also allows you to easily distribute the heat produced by the tire during its movements on the waterproof car cover.

HOUSING CANVAS. They are cables of textile fibers in arcs arranged at right angles and glued to the rubber of the covers. They allow the tire to resist the pressure. In a tire of a tourism tire there are approximately 1400 cables.

TOP CANVAS. They are very thin and resistant steel cables crossed obliquely and glued to each other so that they form in deformable triangles. This structure guarantees both robustness and flexibility.

HEEL. Inner part of the tire that adjusts to the tires, is composed of high-tech steel wires forming a twisted and circular cable, this facilitates the adjustment of the tire and the tires avoiding skidding on it.

INTERIOR RUBBER COVER. It is the innermost rubber layer and serves to retain the air inside the tire facilitating tightness. In the depth of the tire drawing is your safety. A worn drawing increases the chance of an accident. In a wet braking at 80 km / h a worn tire needs up to 18.6 meters more distance to stop.

Only one third of drivers know what condition their car tires are in

Do you know the minimum legal depth of the tire drawing? And in what condition are your car tires? According to a survey conducted by Continental on German drivers, only a third knows the approximate depth of the drawing of their vehicle’s tires. Tires with a drawing depth between eight and four millimeters are synonymous with safety. Below this measure, your ability to evacuate water is drastically reduced and, consequently, increases the chance of an accident.

The minimum depth of the drawing marked by law is 1.6 millimeters, but it is highly recommended to replace the tires before reaching two millimeters. The way to check it is by means of a series of warning lights that usually carry the tires, but with a one-euro coin you can check it easily. The coin is placed on the engraved part of the tread and, if the gold ring on the edge of the coin is covered by the rubber of the tire, it is still of sufficient depth.

Longer braking and aquaplaning risk

In an emergency braking on wet ground at 80 km / h speed with tires whose drawing has a depth of three millimeters the vehicle takes 9.5 meters longer to stop completely than with new tires, the approximate distance of two cars. In addition, when passing through the point where it would have stopped in case of equipping new tires, the car still travels at a speed of 34 km / h. It is this same situation the same vehicle equipped with tires with the minimum drawing allowed (1.6 mm) would need 18.6 meters more to stop and would have a residual speed of 44 km / h. In the case of equipping winter tires and driving on winter roads at 50 km / h, tires with four millimeters of drawing depth will need 14 meters more to stop and some with 1.6 mm will increase this distance to 26 meters.

The size of the contact surface of a tire with the road (the contact footprint) is approximately that of a postcard, which implies a small surface. In a situation where aquaplaning occurs the surface is further reduced. Aquaplaning is the total or partial loss of contact with the ground (and therefore a loss of control of the vehicle) due to the inability of the tire to evacuate the water that is on the ground. The speed decreases the contact footprint and helps aquaplaning, but the depth of the drawing is a crucial factor. The more worn a tire is, the easier it is to suffer aquaplaning, to the point that a tire with the minimum drawing allowed at 90 km / h almost completely loses contact with the asphalt.

Worn tires increase the possibility of an accident due to aquaplaning and range, due to its greater braking distance and reduced grip. Continental with its objective Vision Zero is committed to driving without accidents, developing rubber compounds and exclusive band designs to improve road safety. But the user must provide their grain of sand and monitor the wear of their tires so that they can offer greater safety.