The tire traction rating or traction grade is a measure of a tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement under controlled conditions. The traction grades are usually denoted as AA, A, B, or C, with AA representing the highest level of traction and C the lowest.

It’s a part of the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) system, a standard established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). This rating helps consumers compare tires in terms of their relative stopping ability on wet surfaces. Tires with a higher traction rating provide a shorter stopping distance and a lower risk of hydroplaning​​​​​​​​​​.

Where to Locate Tire Traction Rating?

To find the traction rating of a tire, you should look at the tire’s sidewall. This part of the tire contains vital information about tires. The traction rating is part of the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) system along with the temperature rating and treadwear rating. You can locate it just after the treadwear rating. It is represented by the letters AA, A, B, or C.

For example, in the UTQG: 300 A A

  1. 300: This is the Treadwear Rating.
  2. A: The firstA‘ is the Traction Rating.
  3. A: The second ‘A’ is the Temperature Grade.

Tire Traction Rating Chart

A tire traction rating chart typically categorizes ratings based on the tire’s ability to grip different surfaces like asphalt and concrete. For instance:

  • AA rating signifies excellent traction with a G-Force above 0.54 on asphalt and 0.38 on concrete.
  • A rating indicates good traction, with values above 0.47 on asphalt and 0.35 on concrete.
  • B rating represents normal traction, with values above 0.38 on asphalt and 0.26 on concrete.
  • C rating, the lowest, indicates below-average traction, with values under 0.38 on asphalt and 0.26 on concrete​​.

What Is G-Force In Tire Traction Rating Chart?

Tire traction rating can sometimes be complex, especially its technical aspects like asphalt and concrete G-force. G-force refers to gravitational force. But in the context of driving, “G-force” relates to the tire’s ability to grip the road, influenced by acceleration or deceleration.

For most vehicle owners and tire shoppers, it’s not necessary to go deeply into the concept behind G-force. The key takeaway is that a higher G-force rating typically indicates a better wet grip, generally offering shorter stopping distances. This simple understanding is often sufficient when selecting tires for everyday use.

For a better understanding, see the second column of the above traction rating chart that indicates excellent, good, or below-average traction corresponds to the different traction grade letters.

What Is the Best Traction Grade?

The best traction grade is generally A, as it provides optimum grip on wet pavement, as well as comfort and longevity. It is also the most common traction grade found on tires. Tires with an AA rating are specifically for high-performance vehicles. Although tires with B and C ratings may offer adequate dry traction, they may not perform as effectively in wet conditions.

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