Imagine front wheel drive vehicles use the front tires for these three functions and
the rear tires do less braking than the front wheels. The front tires in all wheel drive
vehicles have the same functions as the front wheel drive but the rear tires also accelerates so more of the burden
is shared when the rear tires have the function of accelerating.
Traction is a term used to describe the adhesive friction between two surfaces. In this conversation
it would be the tyres and the road or ground. To put it in a simpler form it would be the grip that your tires
have on the ground.
Proper traction is required for three main reasons
I know we do these things everyday without giving them a second thought but the tyres on
your vehicle have their fair share of work cut out for them, well maybe its not fair but I'll tell
you in a while.
- To accelerate or simply to move the vehicle.
- To turn the vehicle or for effective cornering.
- To stop the vehicle or braking.
There are several factors that affect the grip between the 2 surfaces (the tire and
Due to certain driving conditions two or more tires that receive the same amount of power may not always have
the same amount of traction. Although the wheels may not be far apart one wheel may be affected from any of the factors
listed above while the other wheel may have it to a lesser extent or none at all.
- The material composition of the two surfaces
- In addition to the material composition the texture or roughness of the two surfaces that would increase grip
- The force pressing the contact surfaces together such as the weight of the vehicle or
downward forces which act on the vehicle
- Loose materials between the contact surfaces such as water, oil or gravel.
When I say that each tire may not have a fair share of work this is because of the drive set up of certain
vehicles. A tire can only have so much traction and the sometimes the traction must be shared by more than one task.
During everyday driving traction can be split during accelerating and cornering or braking and cornering.
During high acceleration where a large amount of traction is being used it is not easy to steer the vehicle
rapidly in another direction as the tires will not have a sufficient amount of traction to steer while heavily
Engineers has invented ways such as traction control and
stability control to manipulate and get better traction in certain driving conditions.