Stopping Distances in the Rain

Wet weather and rainfall are one of the key factors that impacts your vehicle’s braking distance – meaning during spells of poor weather you should drive with extra caution, leaving additional space between you and the vehicle in front. Extra care should also be taken with standing water on the roads during wet weather which also poses the hazard of aquaplaning. With this in mind, high wet grip rating should be a key consideration when choosing a tyre to perform in the wet conditions we face in the UK. 

What is a Tyre’s Wet Grip Rating?

Wet grip is the tyre’s ability to stick to the road during wet weather conditions. The New EU tyre label introduced in 2021 focuses purely on the wet braking performance element of wet grip and grades the tyre between classes from A to E. Tyres that are rated high in terms of wet grip rating stop sooner on wet road surfaces when the brakes are fully applied. This is crucial in emergency situations where additional meters of stopping distance can make all the difference.

Best Tyres for Wet Weather

The best suited tyres for wet weather will be highly rated on wet grip and also be well maintained to ensure optimal performance. As well as wet grip rating, seasonality can also impact upon a tyre’s ability to perform – for example an A rated summer tyre in freezing winter conditions is unlikely to perform as well as an A rated winter tyre in the same conditions. 

Diagram to show wet braking distance of summer and winter tyres across a range of temperatures


Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 with Wet Braking Pro Technology


Goodyear Wet Braking Pro Technology Icon used in the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 tyre

The new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6 features innovative Wet Braking Pro Technology ensuring that in wet conditions the tyre is still able to grip and maintain contact with the road surface. The cap compound in this tyre contains a new resin system that allows the tyre to have more micro contact with the road - translating inot ultimate grip in damp or wet conditions.

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 with Aqua Control Technology

Goodyear Aqua Control Technology Icon used in Vector 4Seasons Gen-3

The Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 features Aqua Control Technology which ensures the grooves in the tyre evolve over the life span of the tyre to allow for continuous water dispersion. This ensures the tyre is able to facilitate water evacuation to maintain contact with the road surface during wet conditions. 

Factors That Impact Stopping Distances in The Rain

There are a range of factors that can all impact stopping distance in the rain, as a rule of thumb the following are often the most important: 

  • Wet Grip Rating – This is the most fundamental aspect, indicating the tyre's performance has been tested
  • Seasonality – The UK sees heavy rain all year round so it's important you use a suitable tyre for the season, or a tyre built for all seasons, as temperature will impact performance on wet roads
  • Standing water - Can cause aquaplaning which can be very dangerous hence it is important to have tyres with aquaplaning resistance to help minimise your stopping distance even on standing water
  • Tyre pressure - Incorrect tyre pressure, especially over inflation could lead to under performance of braking in wet weather
  • Tyre condition - Low tread or uneven, damaged tread could cause sub-optimal water dispersion when braking
Mercedes A Class driving in wet conditions with Goodyear tyres

Tips for Driving in the Rain

  • Be prepared – Regularly ensure your tyres, lights, wipers and general condition of your car is in the right shape to be dealing with whatever the British weather could give
  • Reduce speed – It is generally safer to be more cautious and try to ensure smooth acceleration and braking
  • Keep your distance - Being more cautious and aware of your vehicle’s proximity to other road users
  • Clear fog and condensation - check and clear all windows before starting your journey to ensure you have full visibility of the road ahead and around your vehicle
  • Remain focused on the road ahead - ensure you're ready to react to any changes in the conditions ahead and are aware of other drivers actions


Want to learn more about caring for your tyres to ensure they are in optimum condition for all weather conditions? Read our article on tyre care here

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