Vehicle Road Contact-Tire Safety And Technology Interplay

It is a mystery for many people how tires with per square inch (psi) of 30 pounds of pressure are able to support a whole vehicle weighing more than a ton.

It is a mystery for many people how tires with per square inch (psi) of 30 pounds of pressure are able to support a whole vehicle weighing more than a ton. Essentially, this is something that shows the interplay of technology and tire safety at the same time depicting the science that makes vehicle road contact a possibility. It is what makes many wonder about the force required to push a tire up or down a path and the reason why tires usually get hot while one is driving and how this sometimes becomes problematic.


Contact Path


It is important to look at tires very closely next time you want to drive out of town, something that lets you known they are not as round as you might have thought. At the tire’s bottom is a flat area where the road and the tire seem to meet. It is a flat spot known as contact path. If the road was made of glass, it would be very easy to measure the contact path size and making wise estimates of the car’s weight would be very easy, especially if the contact patch areas were measurable on every tire, added together before multiplying the total sum with the pressure of the tire. As a result of pressure at a specific level for every square inch, a couple of contact patch square inches are required to hold the car’s weight. In case the pressure is decreased or more weight is added, additional contact path square inches are needed and the flat spot will only increase.


Proper Inflation And Under-Inflation


If you look at an overloaded or under-inflated tires, you will realize it is not as round as you might think as compared to a tire that is properly inflated. As the tire starts to spin, its contact path goes across the tire to ensure it remains in contact with the surface or road. Around the area where the road meets the tire, the rubber appears to have bent out and for it to appear that way, lots of force is used to bend it. It takes a lot of force if it will have to bend more. A tire is not completely elastic and once it has gone back to the earlier shape, the entire force that was used to bend it will not return. A part of the force is affected by friction and transformed into heat including all the effort involved in bending the steel and rubber inside a tire. An under-inflated tire has to bed more and thus a lot of force is needed if you must push it up or down a surface, thus generating extra heat.


Tire Effect On Safety


All the accelerating, braking and steering force between a road and a car happens around the tires, which are the mediators in the process. Of all the most important active safety part of a car, the tire is at the top since it makes sure the vehicle remains on the road and you are in control courtesy of four very small size contact areas almost equal to the palm of your hand.


About Author


Brian is an auto enthusiast who occasionally writes tips on how to maintain your car. He always stresses the importance of tire maintenance on any vehicle and how it can affect the car performance. He regularly gets his tires inspected and replaced if needed at

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