What Is Your Tire Speed Rating
A tire’s speed rating indicates the optimal speed that the tire can safely travel for your vehicle. The speed rating system was developed to help control the safe performance of tires at standardized speeds. The higher the speed rating, the better control and handling your vehicle will have at those higher speeds.
The speed rating is indicated by a symbol made up of a single letter from A to Z, ranging from 5 km/h (3mph) to above 300 km/h (186 mph). This rating system doesn’t certify or indicate the total performance of a tire, but rather the speeds at which it has been tested and certified for.
Why Does My Tire Speed Rating Matter?
Anyone who has driven around Lynchburg Virginia knows it’s not uncommon to have a deer jump out from nowhere. The stability of your car tire is what helps you swerve and/or stop in time to avoid an accident. Your tires speed rating and overall performance are important when it comes to keeping you safe.
While your speed rating indicates your safe driving speed it is not just about speed. It’s also about performance and reflects how well your tires brake, corner, grip and navigate overall. That rating is based on rubber compound as well as tread stability, design and casing construction. Tires with bigger inter-locking tread blocks squirm less than a lot of little tread blocks. Less squirming means more staying on the road.
What You Need to Know
What you need to know about your tire speed rating is that your performance rating and load index matches the original equipment recommendations from your vehicle manufacturer. You can safely go up in tire performance rating, but if you choose a lesser tire and go down you put yourself at risk.