I don’t claim to be an expert in tire technology. However, there has been a lot written on the subject of tire rolling resistance, tire traction, tire aging, tire handling, and tire stopping on various types of road surfaces.
Seems everyone – for the most part – is in basic agreement that if something is good for the environment, it’s not a bad thing. But, everyone is not in agreement that disregarding other factors (such as safety) for the sake of fuel efficiency is such a good idea.
It’s a catch 22! We all want the most fuel-efficient tires possible, especially with the high costs of fuel. However, we don’t want to sacrifice safety for a fuel savings of $40-$70 per year. This is the challenge that tire engineers face. Their talents are often overlooked. They create technological marvels with the various compounds, tread designs, and raw materials to produce amazing masterpieces. They now are experimenting with eco-friendly ingredients in their development.
We take these marvels for granted. The next time you think of tires, don’t look at them as simply those round black things that keep your vehicle rolling; think of them as works of art; products of great engineers or artists’ creations. -- Wayne Croswell