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.
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.