Tyre treads

Control may otherwise be known as handling.

Nothings ever quite as smooth as it seems, the surface of any object is covered in microscopic lumps and bumps that snag against anything that touch it. The result is a force that stops us from moving freely. We call it friction. Friction effects cars in all sorts of ways, it helps stick to the road therefore increasing control, but it also wears out your engine and slows you at high speed.

Tyres are acctually what pulls the car along, and they do it by applying the force of friction. To get the most push, the tyres must grip the ground with the powerful force of "static friction." But how can a moving tyre have this, we ll the road is stationary. As well as maximising static friction, a tyre must minimise something called rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is when tyres are repeatedly squeezed at the bottom and stretched at the top. All that stretching and squeesing wastes the energy that could be used to go forwards.

Different bits of the tyre tread work as a team to keep you on the road. The blocks and ribs form most of the gripping surface, while the other parts form the edge to help handling. The shoulders add grip while cornering. The grooves are the drains. This prevents slipperiness when in the rain. (see diagram.)

Stopping distance

To stop a moving car, you must overcome its inertia by using a force, friction from the brakes. The brakes get rid of the cars kinetic energy by turning it into heat energy and sound. But they must do this slowly, or the driver's inertia would send him flying out of his seat. The faster a car is going, the more kinetic energy it has, and the longer the brakes take to stop it.

The total stopping distacne has two parts: Thinking distance, (when the driver is reacting.) and braking distance. (when the driver has slammed his foot on the brakes)

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