Are Flat Tires a Thing of the Past?

June 30, 2022, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s a common site on Canadian roads. A car or truck pulled over with a flat tire. Sometimes it’s the trailer. It’s always a problem. Getting a flat while driving can be very dangerous and can cause car accidents when there is a loss of control. Tire pieces can fly off and hit surrounding cars causing more accidents and sometimes deaths. This may all be a thing of the past though.
 
Standing at the side of the highway waiting for help or changing the tire yourself can also be very dangerous. Cars and trucks may be travelling much faster and closer than you think they are. They may also not see you stopped on the shoulder and drive into you from the rear. Personal injury and even death are not uncommon outcomes when there is a flat tire or blow-out tire while driving.
 
Let’s not get into the expense of having to change one or even all tires if you need to replace the flat tire and the cost of their disposal.
 
The air (or now nitrogen) filled tire design dates back to the 1890s when these tires first debuted. They have served us for more than 130 years, but their time has come.
In Luxemburg Goodyear is currently testing airless tires on Tesla Model 3 cars. They are pushing the vehicles through extensive testing including sudden acceleration and stopping, cornering, and driving.
 
The tires themselves feature plastic spikes and a thin reinforced rubber tread. The spokes are designed to flex as the car rolls on the highway. These non-pneumatic tires are much lighter than traditional ones making them advantageous for electric vehicles. They even feature sensors for mapping roads. The use of these new tires promises much less road-noise, pollution, and electricity consumption.
 
The looming autonomous vehicle market is demanding lower maintenance tires that are recyclable and puncture-proof as well. This will save time and money, particularly for car sharing and ride-hailing firms.
 
Goodyear is testing the tires on 24-hour test runs with varying loads and speeds adding up to thousands of kilometres of nonstop testing. Even when some of the spokes break or deform the tires continue to run safely. The future for them is bright according to Goodyear.
Michelin Tires has been working on a similar project partnered with GM and there are reports that their Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) may debut as early as 2024 on their electric Bolt car.
 
You can read about the Michelin Uptis project on their website here and get more information on the Goodyear tires here.  Several other companies are also developing non-pneumatic tires.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a flying tire part on a highways, or in an accident caused by a flat or blowout please contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today.
 
 
 

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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