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Green Tires Sacrifice Safety

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In the rush for more environmentally friendly technology to lower gasoline consumption and car emissions, other methods can be overlooked. Take fuel-efficient tires, which the California Energy Commission has praised for their ability to lower gasoline consumption; apparently, they could reduce California consumption by as much as 100 million gallons per year if every resident owned a set.

However, as Autopia points out, fuel-efficient tires come at a price, and the currency used here is safety. What the Energy Commission is talking about are low-rolling-resistance tires, which manage to save fuel by limiting contact between the tire and the pavement, otherwise known as the “contact patch.”

A lower contact patch means tires are more prone to skidding and slipping. The slimmer the tire, the worse it holds the road, even if it increases fuel economy. Trading safety for efficiency seems like a strange way to chase higher mpg, especially when 100 million gallons spread over a year is barely more than a drop in the bucket. According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. consumes 388 million gallons of gas a day.

Green Tires Could Cost You Your Life (Autopia)

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