Introducing Bridgestone Runflat Tyres
Runflat tyres (RFT) represent the latest in a long line of safety initiatives being made available today. Safety has become something of a catch cry for a society which has become less accepting of the trauma associated with all manner of accidents. The value of developing and adopting new technologies to keep us safe is well recognised. Furthermore, consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay a premium for safety features they understand. Just as anti-lock brake systems, traction control, stability control and air bags have trickled down from upper models to base models, the very same is expected of RFT.
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What of the humble tyre? Arguably the most important component on a car, the tyre provides the sole point of contact between car and road and serves to transmit all driving forces. Although not clearly quantified, tyres are thought to play some role in a significant portion of all motor vehicle accidents.
BMW's Z4 use RE050 Run Flat tyres as original equipment
Consider the safety advantages offered by Bridgestone RFT. In the event of a sudden deflation, vehicle stability and therefore driver control are significantly increased. The risks associated with changing tyres at the roadside should also not be underestimated. Anybody who has had the misfortune to change a driver's side tyre in peak hour traffic at the side of the road in the Sydney Harbour tunnel knows what its like to feel unsafe. Changing tyres at the side of a narrow highway on sloping ground at night and in driving rain with semi-trailers steaming past at 100km/h is no less disconcerting.
RFT also provides more comfort and convenience for the motorist. Within the specified speed and distance limits (typically 80 km/h for up to 80 km), the driver can either complete their journey or travel to the next qualified service station without the worry of changing a flat tyre. This means vehicle occupants can continue travelling to important meetings or events even when tyres are totally deflated.
An added benefit is that RFT usually saves weight by eliminating the need to carry a spare tyre. Of course, the free space created by eliminating the classic spare tyre gives the car manufacturer extra design opportunities and offers the end user more storage space. An on-board tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is mandatory for all RFT fitments. Currently, RFT tyres are only fitted to late model sports and luxury vehicles with low profile tyres.
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