Using Slick Tires as a Daily Driver: Is It Safe?

Slick tires have been an essential part of the racing community since the 1950s when they were invented. If you’re a regular driver who only reaches 100mph on country roads; you might not be familiar with this term. 

What are Slick Tires?

They’re performance tires made to give racers an edge, which lies in their design. This type of tire has very few threads and ridges; some don’t have any. The reason for this is traction; because most of the tire is in contact with the ground, it is able to provide maximum grip. 

This is very important as racers make tight turns with their foot on the gas, and they need all the traction they can get. 

Slick tires smoking on asphalt

Are Slicks Safe for Everyday Use?

The short answer is no; in high-speed sports, professionals monitor the weather and determine what performs best in that condition. The tires we use on a daily basis are made to adapt to different environments—slicks on the other hand work best on a dry track. 

Let’s look at the reasons why using slicks every day will be a bad idea. 

It Provides Little Traction When It Rains

There’s a reason why every driver is cautioned to drive carefully when the road is wet; this is because of traction issues. On a wet road, there is a loss of friction, which is what enables the tires to grip the road. Regular tires have a way to fight this;  by designing them with grooves, it helps channel the water away from the tire and increase traction. Even these are not so foolproof; accidents happen often, and we’ve all heard of several instances. 

A wet condition spells even greater danger for a Slick tire. The lack of threads makes them completely useless in a wet environment. The slightest curve taken at moderate speeds could spell danger. 

They’re Not as Reliable as Regular Tires

If you’ve ever watched a Formula 1 race or any professional race, you will notice one thing; tires are changed during the race. The tires you’d find in a regular car have been made to stand the test of time and last longer. Slicks and other racing tires are made for performance; if a racer was to go through all those curves often enough without a tire change, they’d get a blowout. 

Conclusion

As a regular driver, you’d be in for a surprise if you had all your tires changed to slicks. Their structural makeup is different from a regular tire so it’s expected they produce different results. Professionals are used to these changes and can handle the vehicle properly.  

There’s a reason it is illegal to use it on public roads in most countries; it is simply unsafe.

Using this type of tire as a daily driver could spell danger for you and others. Stick with regular tires or go to a private track if you want to get serious.

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