Handling of buses on slippery roads during the influence of side wind: A study of the effects of different tyres

Publisher's full text

Accident statistics assembled by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) have shown that buses are overrepresented when it comes to accidents on icy and snowy roads. For a better understanding of the problem, the performance of modern summer and winter tyres on winter road conditions had to be assessed. The objective of this work has been to go beyond standard road grip studies, and instead investigate how the driver's possibility to deal with one challenging situation depends on the tyres and tyre configuration. This paper describes a novel methodology where measurements with different tyres on ice in VTI's tyre test facility, enabled a simulator study for evaluating the impact of different tyre characteristics when driving in conditions with strong side wind on a slippery road.

The main results of the study are: to deal with strong side wind, good front wheel grip is most important, and while non-studded winter tyres provided little or no improvement over summer tyres, studded winter tyres significantly reduced the risk to run off the road. Furthermore, it is very difficult for the drivers to judge, beforehand, whether a vehicle with a particular tyre configuration will perform good or bad.

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