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Campaign Aims to Promote Tire Safety

Ensuring proper inflation key to being safe.

by on May.14, 2014

They may not be sexy, but tires are a critical part of your vehicle's safety system.

Every new car must now be equipped with a basic sensing system able to detect when its tires are underinflated, but German supplier Continental wants to take things a step further with a new technology it claims can tell when a tire’s tread has worn out and needs to be changed.

While that might seem something motorists should be able to detect on their own, the simple reality is that drivers have a tendency to ignore those big, black doughnuts until something serious happens, whether a flat or a blow-out.  But that can prove a dangerous mistake, tire problems routinely responsible for serious crashes and fatalities.

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, tires are linked to about 11,000 crashes each year, accounting for around 200 fatalities. That’s led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch a new campaign to increase motorists’ awareness.

“This campaign will help consumers make more informed choices every step of the way when it comes to choosing and caring for their tires — keeping them safer and saving them money at the same time,” explained Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.


Do “Fuel Saving” Tires Work?

You can save $100 annually, according to the latest tests.

by on Jun.02, 2010

Old company but with the latest technology to save you fuel.

The problem with all-season tires is just that. By trying to come up with rubber compounds and tread designs that work year round, engineers trade off such things as maximum traction on dry pavement, or noise generated by the tread, or the best grip in snow. Moreover, early versions of such tires were mediocre at best.

Forced by fuel economy regulations, automakers have specified as original equipment a type of all-season tire known as fuel-saving to help improve ratings for quite some time. Tires with lower “rolling resistance”—the amount of force that it takes to roll a tire down a road—are more fuel-efficient than others, but trade-offs are made to achieve this.

However, replacement tires are not limited to an automaker’s requirements, and tire companies aggressively market attributes such as all-season grip and tread life with less emphasis on other areas of performance.

If you thought about it at all, a replacement tire choice was a compromise between low rolling resistance and other  attributes—such as good dry- and wet-weather grip for stopping and cornering.

Consumer Reports’  latest tests of two all-season, low-rolling resistance tires – the Michelin Energy Saver A/S and the Cooper GFE – show that they not only save gas, but also deliver good stopping and handling capabilities.