Could Airless Tires Be On the Horizon?
One of the most dangerous things about tires is what happens when they deflate. If a tire rapidly deflates at a high speed, the chances of the driver losing control of the vehicle are quite high. When that happens, not only is the driver in danger but any other car that’s near or around the driver as well. So, what if we got rid of the whole inflation thing and produced airless tires?
It may not be as far off as you imagine. Engineers have drafted a prototype airless tire that could revolutionize how tires are made and manufactured, and potentially, it could address one of the key safety concerns with tires.
Why Tires Blow Out
While there is no limit to the reasons why tires blow out, there are two main culprits worth addressing here. First, tires can blowout because of some condition on the road. A stray nail or a major pothole can cause a tire to quickly deflate. However, if the tire wasn’t inflated in the first place, then what potential harm could a stray nail or pothole do?
The second reason tires deflate is because they’re made out of rubber. New rubber is soft and pliant and can handle major irregularities in the road. Over time, however, heat and age cause the rubber to harden. This can result in sidewall failure, tread separation, and increase the risk that an environmental condition will cause a serious tire blowout. Of course, that’s only a problem if your tires are made out of rubber.
Airless tires, or at least those that have been prototyped thus far, are made out of aluminum and fiberglass. They are currently called UPTIS (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System). Michelin is one of the main developers and experts say that we can find these tires on the road within the next five years.
Does That Mean Tire Litigation Attorneys Will Be Out of a Job?
It could, but it probably won’t. While UPTIS represents a major step forward in tire safety and design, questions will emerge regarding its durability and its capacity to maintain traction on the road. The way we hear it, though, the UPTIS tires should bring consumers improvements in both areas. But yes, the hope is that the new breed of tires will cause fewer preventable accidents down the road.
You May Find UPTIS Tires on the Road Later This Year
How soon will we see UPTIS tires on the road? It could be as early as next year. Michelin and GM plan on testing them on Chevy Bolt fleets as early as 2019. Among the many advantages the companies claim these tires have, they should be more environmentally friendly, require less raw materials to fabricate, and be safer overall. Here’s hoping the new tires live up to the hype.
Talk to a Tire Litigation Attorney
If a tire-related accident has caused you serious injuries, the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can help you recover damages. Give us a call for a free consultation.