Fallen leaves on the road pose a danger to drivers. Ford engineers have found a way to clarify how dangerous the leaves are compared to snow.
Fallen leaves can pose a serious danger to motorists. Some believe that the leaves on the road are no less insidious than snow. A team of Ford engineers conducted a unique experiment to find out the truth.
Regarding snow, Ford has amassed impressive amounts of information during the winter tests in the Scandinavian countries. But a research on slipperiness of leaves has been never carried out.
Ford engineers covered a test track with leaves at a company site in Belgium. Then they rolled on the surface to be examined with a special device that determines the coating slip coefficient.
During the tests, it was found that in some cases the leaves were as slimy as the snow. The coefficient of sliding friction (slipperiness) is measured in µ. The more slippery the surface is, the lower this value.
During the experiment, the lowest rates of friction coefficient reached 0.3-0.4 µ, which are typical figures for snow-covered surfaces.
Most people know that you need to slow down when driving on the snowy road. But it turns out the leaves can also be dangerous.