Single Vehicle Wet Road Loss of Control; Effects of Tire Tread Depth and Placement
When an automobile is driven on wet roads, its tires must remove water from between the tread and road surfaces. It is well known that the ability of a tire to remove water depends heavily on tread depth, water depth and speed, as well as other factors, such as tire load, air pressure and tread design. It is less well known that tire tread depth combined with placement can have an adverse effect on vehicle handling on wet roads. This paper investigates passenger car handling on wet roads. Flat bed tire testing, three-dimensional computer simulation and skid pad experimental testing are used to determine how handling is affected by tire tread depth and front/rear position of low-tread-depth tires on the vehicle. Some skid pad test results are given, along with corresponding simulations. A literature review also is presented. Significant changes in tire-road longitudinal and lateral friction are shown to occur as speed, tread depth and water depth vary, even before hydroplaning occurs.