Which of the following is most likely to damage your tires:
- Nails and tacks
You guessed it. Most tire damage is caused by under-inflation and poor maintenance by their owners. That may be changing as tires get a little smarter. They already send dashboard warnings to drivers with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and Deflation Detection System (DDS) when tire pressure is too low.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vehicle driving on underinflated tires is 3 times more likely to be involved in a crash due to tire problems, including under inflation of 25% or more and worn tread. When you mix these tire issues with bad weather conditions, the likelihood of a tire related incident increases dramatically and puts your life and property in jeopardy. A 2009 study found that 57% of vehicles with tire pressure monitoring systems had tires that were properly inflated. This data clearly shows that monitoring systems aid greatly in alerting a driver to tire issues they might otherwise not notice.
Cars today come with all kinds of technological wonders, such as ABS brakes and VDM systems that help control of your car during screeching emergencies. Tire technology has blossomed as well, with advanced rubber compounds and performance enhancing design. Now tires are beginning to communicate with their driver.
Continental Tires has developed a system they call eTIS (electronic Tire Information System). The Continental tire sensors, fixed right under your tire tread, reports more than just your tire pressure.
The eTIS technology alerts the driver when it’s time to replace his or her tires due to tread wear, and it sends a warning when the vehicle load is overloaded with excess weight.
With eTIS sensors being place under the tread, this protects it from damage from outside conditions. Unlike the TPMS, which is usually mounted to wheel, it could possibly get damaged when removing or installing a new tire.
How does eTIS work? The embedded sensor system calculates tire depth and excess weight by monitoring changes in the tire rolling characteristics when you drive.
With the NHTSA study shows that tire related problems are evident in the pre-crash phase, giving the driver a very small window for avoiding a crash. Since our tires are the only part of the car touching the road and improper maintenance increases the likelihood of a blowout or diminished handling of the vehicle, tire maintenance becomes an important piece of the safe driving puzzle.
Meanwhile, Continental’s Filling Assistant, which is already available on new Nissan models, enables you to properly inflate your tires without using a tire gauge. When you reach the recommended tire pressure, the Filling Assistant lets you know with a quick honk of your horn.