Lateral vs Circumferential Tire Grooves: The Differences

Lateral vs Circumferential Tire Grooves: The Differences

The groove portions of your tire treads are essential to creating void space—areas that allow for increased flexibility with the road. It’s because of these segments that certain types of tires can maximize their traction and perform their designated roles. However, there isn’t just one form of tire groove, and knowing what they are can help when it comes time to choose new models. These are the differences between lateral and circumferential tire grooves.

Circumferential Tire Grooves

To begin, circumferential tire grooves run parallel along the tire’s tread and make up the bulk of a tire’s void ratio. They create additional space for liquids to run through without affecting traction—making them the perfect pattern for all-weather or winter tires. Circumferential tire grooves are also the deepest grooves molded into tire treads. This is to ensure that they remain visible and functional regardless of how much wear the tire sustains.

Lateral Tire Grooves

Lateral tire grooves, on the other hand, are cut to cross over a tire’s circumferential grooves. This could be perpendicular or at a diagonal angle. They also aren’t as wide or deep, and they only make up a small fraction of a tire’s overall void space. The main function of lateral grooves is to provide additional gripping power against the pavement as the tire flexes. As such, they’re great for accelerating and braking—especially on pavement, loose dirt, or gravel terrain.

Now that you know the differences between lateral and circumferential tire grooves, you have a bit more insight into what makes certain tire treads effective in specific driving situations. Now, you can approach the tire-buying process with a bit more perspective. This is why, at RNR Tire Express, we carry tires of both kinds to ensure you always have access to what you need. Our tire stores in Columbia, SC are staffed with knowledgeable professionals to answer all your questions.

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