Recently I took part in a ride-and-drive event sponsored by Michelin North America for its new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 ultra-high performance all-season tire.

The company chose the NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans to do the unveiling. The venue allowed Michelin to prove the mettle of the tire in multiple tests -- one being wet braking.

For that test, the driver would get the vehicle up to 65 mph, hold it at that speed and then slam on the brakes as the vehicle hit water-covered pavement. The stopping distance was recorded.

Although my incredible reflexes allowed me to stop the car in a mere 100 feet, I believe the average turned out to be around 112 feet. (I’ve got to brag about this. I’m NEVER going to win a speed record!)

Coincidentally, I’d recently picked up an Ohio driver’s manual from 1951 at a local antiques shop. One section covered stopping distances. As you can see from the illustration, at 50 miles an hour, it took on average 186 feet to stop a car back then – and that was on dry pavement!

Plus, the manual states, “A number of factors influence reaction time. Thus under the influence of fatigue, reactions may slow down considerably, and reaction time to a sound signal is generally quicker than to a light signal. This means that the brake is applied a little more quickly in response to the sound of an automobile horn than to the sight of a flashing light. Distraction, in particular, lengthens braking reaction time.”

Texting while driving was not even imagined in 1951. I wonder what the braking distances are for that distraction? Even today's tires can't overcome stupidity!

Author

Lori L. Mavrigian
Lori L. Mavrigian

Managing Editor

Since joining <I>Modern Tire Dealer</I> in 1979, Lori Mavrigian has held several key positions leading to her current title as managing editor. In addition to handling the day-to-day operations of magazine production, Lori writes features, contributes photography and is in charge of several of the magazines departments. She also works with the magazine's National Advisory Council for the exclusive Ludwig Report surveys. She earned a B.A. in Mass Media-Communications from the University of Akron.

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Since joining <I>Modern Tire Dealer</I> in 1979, Lori Mavrigian has held several key positions leading to her current title as managing editor. In addition to handling the day-to-day operations of magazine production, Lori writes features, contributes photography and is in charge of several of the magazines departments. She also works with the magazine's National Advisory Council for the exclusive Ludwig Report surveys. She earned a B.A. in Mass Media-Communications from the University of Akron.

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