The size of the tyre foot print of the average car is much the same area as a size ten shoe which equates to half the size a of an A4 sheet of paper (25cm²). Multiply this figure x 4 gives you 100cm².
Believe it or not, the size of the foot print does not vary a great deal with the replacement of wider tyres. What does affect it, is the tyre pressure and the amount of load the car is carrying.
To maximise the handling and total dynamic performance of the car, tyre pressures, load distribution and wheel alignment must be in tune with the car. You and your family’s safety depends on it.
To maximise safety, there is a need to keep all four of the tyres in contact with the road. If one wheel leaves the road surface, the vehicle has potentially lost 25% of its available traction. Springs and shocks play a huge role in the handling characteristics of the car when extra load is being applied, i.e. loading the car up for the big road trip.
So here’s the key equation:
• Take speed, (velocity)
• Then multiply by weight (mass)
• Equals, the vehicle’s dynamics capability.
We’re fortunate as drivers – we can control speed as one of the variables. It’s as simple as looking at the speedometer and modifying a throttle position…
The weight variable is much harder to envisage and measure.
Unknowingly overloading a vehicle can break the law, significantly degrade vehicle performance, interfere with safety systems and threaten the insurance compliance.