These Car Tires Make Driving in the Rain a Whole Lot Safer

According to USA Today, “car accidents are the deadliest weather hazard in the United States — whether caused by rain, snow, fog or wind — and kill about 7,000 Americans a year.” If you live in a part of the country where it snows, you’ll need to invest in good snow tires (or winter tires). Likewise, if you live somewhere it frequently rains, you’ll need to invest in good wet weather tires.

You may think that snow and ice are the worst offenders, but you’d be wrong. In actuality, rain is the worst cause of accidents. Specifically, wet pavement. Even Alaska had more car accident fatalities due to rain versus snow.

You can’t always depend on dry roads and clear driving. No matter where you live, you’re going to have to deal with rain. If you live in someplace like the Pacific Northwest or Florida, rain is going to come more often than not. While you can’t control the weather, you can take precautions. Good tires (and good car insurance) are two of those precautions.

If you already know why you need good tires for rain and what part of a tire to look at when selecting good rain tires (hint: it starts with a T), then feel free to jump ahead and look at our top tires to use during wet weather.

Best Tires for Rain:

However, if you’re like us and want to learn more about tires and their composition, as well as why we chose these as our top five tires for rain, then keep reading.

Why Do You Need Good Tires?

driving in rain can be dangerous

Tires aren’t just what make your car go from point A to point B. Tires are also a safety feature. They help determine how your car turns corners, accelerates and brakes. A car’s tires can also impact the way your car rides (bumpy or smooth), the amount of fuel you use and even the amount of road noise. Tire traction “is used to gauge the ability of a tire to perform on dry and wet surfaces,” and is paramount for wet weather driving.

Nowadays, most cars come with all-season tires, which can handle a variety of road and weather conditions. All-season tires are often referred to as the “jack-of-all-trades” of tires. They’re suited for all conditions, but as such, they don’t necessarily excel in one particular condition. If you live somewhere it rarely rains or snows, these are the perfect tires for you. However, if you live in Alaska, Florida or somewhere where the weather is more fickle, you may want to invest in specialty tires such as tires for wet weather or snow tires.

What Is the Composition of a Tire?

 

 

The different parts of a tire

Tiresafety

As you can see in the above diagram, the five main components of a tire are the bead, tire casing, belt system, sidewall and tread.

In the simplest form, the tire casing is considered the body of the tire and includes the bead and the sidewall. The bead is what secures the tire to the wheel, and the sidewall is what protects the cord piles beneath the rubber. The belt system provides stability for the tread, and the tread is the part of the tire that makes direct contact with the pavement and helps with wet traction.

While tires can vary in size and makeup, the key differentiator when looking at specialty tires is tread.

Tires function best when the rubber connects with the pavement. When it rains, rainwater impairs the rubber from having direct contact with the pavement and, as a result, your car can hydroplane. Tread is what helps prevent hydroplaning and helps with traction – particularly, wet traction.

Tread is the part of the tire that comes in direct contact with the pavement, and this important part of the vehicle typically comes in one of four geometrical shapes. Each shape is meant for a different road condition or driving style:

  • Symmetrical. This is the most common type of tire and found on most non-high performance cars. Symmetrical tread has one continuous pattern, typically comprised of grooves and independent lugs. The tires are long-lasting and good for all seasons.
  • Directional. This type of tread typically features arrows. The tread is meant to roll in the direction of the arrow and helps displace water to prevent hydroplaning.
  • Asymmetrical. Asymmetrical tires are the most popular tires for sports cars. Unlike symmetrical tires that have one continuous pattern across the entire tire, asymmetrical combine tread patterns to give your car maximum grip on wet and dry roads. Typically the inside of the tire is designed for inclement weather, and the outside has large tread to help your car turn corners well on dry surfaces.
  • Directional/asymmetrical. These tires feature a V-shaped direction pattern to help displace water, as well as an asymmetrical tread to help your car grip dry pavement.

What Should You Look for in Good Rain Tires?

Jeep tires with thick tread

As you now know, tire tread is the part of the tire that touches the pavement. The grooves in the tread are designed to keep water away from the tire. They push water away from the center and out towards the sidewalls. Grooves are flexible and move as the tires move. In rainy conditions, they can even suck up water and push it towards the sidewalls to help your car excel in wet traction and prevent it from slipping or hydroplaning.

So, now that we’ve told you why you need good tires for rain, let’s look at top picks. And, now that you know all about tire tread and the different patterns, pay attention to how each tire’s tread and grooves vary!

Our list of Top 5 Car Tires for Rain Can Help You Select the Perfect Tire for Rainy Weather:

5.) BFGoodrich G-Force T/A KDW-2

Car tires for rain goodrich

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There is a good debate between enthusiasts whether the BFGoodrich G-force T/A KDW-2 or the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 is better for the money. Regardless of the fanboy/fangirl opinions, both are good tires for around the same cost. Some drivers have found that the G-Force tires provide a bit of road noise, though it is an inconsistent complaint.

These car tires operate amazingly in the rain and other wet weather conditions. However, they won’t work magic. If you are an inexperienced driver, you may find yourself fishtailing. When you know how to drive in wet conditions, the g-forces will work in your favor.

Pros

  • Traction: These tires excel in dry traction
  • Excellent Wet Handling: Tires stick to the pavement with a strong grip in wet conditions
  • Steering Response: Steering is excellent in both wet and dry conditions

Cons

  • Noise: Tires can become very noisy as tread wears down

 

 

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4.) Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3

Car tires for rain - goodyear eagle

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The price tag on the Eagle F1 GS-D3’s is a little better than some of the other options, but these still will cost you over 100 bucks per tire. Still, Goodyear’s Eagle F1 GS-D3’s are a favorite among motorists and have very few bad reviews across the board. For the price, the F1 GS-D3’s are cheaper but still just as good as higher priced options.

It is important to note that these tires are not intended for cold driving or on ice and snow. Thus, if you are looking for good winter tires or snow tires, keep looking.

The Eagle F1 GS-D3’s are a great choice for drivers in rainy regions, as their performance shines when the roads are wet. The tires will wear quickly, so be careful to check your treads frequently.

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Pros

  • Traction: These tires excel in both wet and dry conditions
  • Great for Sports Cars: Tires enable sports cars such as Mustangs, Corvettes and more to better handle in wet conditions

Cons

  • Cost: Tires are most expensive than other rain tires on the market
  • Comfort: Tires may make ride bumpier than normal
  • Terrible in Snow: If you’re looking for tires that work well in both snow and rain, these aren’t it.

Read More: How Do I Care For My Tires? Tire Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly

3.) Bridgestone’s Potenza S-02 Pole Position

Car tires for rain - bridgestone

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These rain tires are probably the best car tire you can get if you want peak tire performance for both dry and wet weather conditions. These tires may break the bank, but it’s worth it for a summer tire that cannot be beat.

Noiseless and perfect for heavy commuters or track enthusiasts, the Potenza S-02 tires are top notch. These wet weather tires boast great handling, too. Switch out these tires when the temperatures drop because they are specifically designed for the summer months.

Pros

  • Grip: These tires provide excellent traction in both wet and dry conditions
  • Quiet ride: Tires provide a smooth, quiet ride
  • Fuel Consumption: If fuel consumption is a concern, these tires will certainly held

Cons

  • Cost: Tires are at the higher-end in terms of price for rain tires
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2.) Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Car tires for rain - continental

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The ExtremeContact DWS tires are good all-season tires that excel as both snow tires and wet weather tires. If you want performance in both rain and slushy winter conditions, these tires can’t be beat. With a 50k mile tread-wear warranty and insane traction control, the ExtremeContact DWS tires will cost just a tad less than the Pilot Sport A-S +. Still costly, but the price is worth it.

The letters DWS printed on the tire tell you the following: When the “S” wears away and the letters “DW” remain, your car tires are still good for dry and wet conditions, but you shouldn’t use them in snow. Once the “W” wears away and the “D” is showing, it means the tire is rated for only dry performance. This wear indicator makes it so you do not have to second guess your traction and tire safety.

Pros

  • Traction: These tires provide excellent grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • Warranty: 50K mile tread-wear warranty
  • Easy Indicator: Tires have lettering on the sides that slowly wear as tread wears to let you know when they need to be replaced

Cons

  • Cost: Tires are at the higher-end in terms of price for rain tires
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1.) Michelin Pilot Sport A-S +

Car tires for rain - michelin

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For ultimate control in wet weather conditions, but still retaining great performance in dry conditions, the Pilot Sport A-S + is the best car tire you can get. However, road noise may be substantial for the first hundred or so miles.

The Pilot Sports come pretty close to being perfect on both wet and dry roads. You may also find some under-performance problems on ice and snow, but you’d be better off buying tires specifically for snow use anyway.

Pros

  • Wet and Dry Traction: Tires provide excellent grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • Warranty: 50K mile tread-wear warranty
  • Cost: More affordable than other rain tires on the market

Cons

  • Noise: Tires can cause substantial road noise
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No matter what tires you buy for the wet weather season, keep in mind safety and learn how to drive in all weather conditions. While your equipment is only good if you know how to use it, these car tires for rain can certainly help.

Do you have a favorite type of rain tire? Tell us in the comments what kind, and why they’re your top pick. 

these car tires make driving in the rain a whole lot safer

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