Given my tire experience last weekend, Chuck Murray’s recent post, “Purdue Develops Damage-Sensing Tire”, was a real attention grabber.
I had four Goodyear tires that were rated for 60,000-mile lifetimes, and my car had just turned 52,000 miles. So, the tires were near the end of their safe, useful lives, but they should still have had a few thousand miles left before replacement was necessary.
Nonetheless, at 65 miles per hour on the northbound I35E freeway between Dallas and Denton, Texas my front left tire began to make strange noises, and I started to lose control of the car. Thankfully, the cars around me yielded, and I was able to safely pull over to the shoulder and exit the highway before the tire was completely lost. When I got out and inspected the tire, I immediately saw it was a total loss.
After waiting an infuriating 2 hours for a AAA tow truck, which never arrived, I finally broke down and changed the tire myself.
While my car and I are okay, the outcome could have been very different. I might have lost control of the car and gotten into a serious accident. However, if my tire had been able to warn me that it was about to fail, as will soon be possible from Purdue’s tire research, disaster could have been safely averted.
I had all four tires replaced immediately after the incident. Sears gave me a choice between several tire brands, including Goodyear. I picked 90,000-mile tires from Michelin instead.