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Driving Habits and Your Tyres

Driving Habits and Your Tyres

The quality and design of your tyres matter when we talk about wear and tear and lifespan. But there are many other factors that influence how long your tyres will last. Road conditions, climate, and UV rays are beyond your control. Others are manageable, such as regular checking and maintenance, but one of the best things you can do for them is to adopt certain driving habits.

Habits that influence tyre lifespan

The key word here is ‘habit’, because the way you drive on a regular basis and in the long haul has an accumulative effect on your tyres’ life. While many of these aspects below play into each other holistically, it’s worth breaking them down to help them sink into our consciousness.


Does driving faster tend to wear out tyres sooner? Not everyone agrees on this one.

In one camp are those that say speeding does indeed shorten a tyre’s lifespan. They say:

  • Speeding generates excessive heat which in turn increases the rate of tyre wear.
  • Exceeding the speed rating level indicated on a tyre’s sidewall is detrimental to its lifespan.

In the other camp, they think it makes insignificant difference, saying:

  • That the difference between driving for example between 100 – 130 km/h is negligible, considering that the tyres are rolling continuously without any braking and accelerating.
  • In contrast to the first camp in point 1, tyres perform best when warmed up. Cruising at 130 km/h will make tyres reach optimal operating temperature sooner than at 100 km/h.
  • When you travel faster, you’ll reach your destination sooner, and therefore be driving on your tyres for a shorter period.

Where both camps might agree on the speed issue is in the cornering, where you may experience faster wear and tear if constantly driven this way.

Acceleration & sudden braking

Burning rubber every time the traffic lights turn green? Those tyres spinning and the long black line left behind on the tar road is a sure fire way to spend a lot of money on new tyres.

Hard braking, where a driver charges towards what is clearly a stop street or red light, is a strange habit, and has a similar effect on tyres, in reverse.

Curb driving

Keep a decent distance away from curbs as they easily eat away at your tyres if you constantly drive over them incorrectly at high speed or at a wrong angle. At best, the rubber will wear out, at worst, the tyre will crack.


Good driving habits is a simple concept, which culminates in one principle. Driving carefully, avoiding road debris and other obstacles like potholes, respecting other road users, and your vehicle, will negate the bad habits of sharp stop-start movements that eat away at tyres.

How you  think about other road users and how you treat your car has a direct impact on all its components, not just the tyres. Treat it with respect and it will reward you for many years to come.

Besides extending the life of your tyres, by avoiding poor driving habits you’ll also be less of a risk to yourself and others on the road.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational or informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Firestone