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I took this photo at the beach. Looking at the tire tracks made me think about why car tires have treads, instead of being smooth, like racing tires. Why?


Smooth tires would actually have better traction on dry roads, but on wet roads, a thin layer of water between the tire and the road would cause them to hydroplane. On a wet road, the treads allow the water to flow into the grooves, letting the tire make contact with the road to maintain friction and control.