Eco tires: good for the environment, bad for safety?

Continental Tire's head of development, Burkhard Wies, has issued a warning to us all against so-called "eco tires." Europe is considering labeling tires with eco ratings if they have certain attributes like especially low rolling resistance or create minimal noise pollution. But Wies says that tires purposely designed for "extremely low rolling resistance and high mileage are 10-percent worse at wet braking than those with good all-round properties." In one example, the eco friendly tires increased braking distance by more than 24 feet.
The quandary being presented for motorists is that eco tires give them the chance to save the environment and save money with incentives offered for fitting a car with such tires, but perhaps at the cost of personal safety. It's early in the days of eco tires, so there is a great deal more study, work, and refining to be done. And we will have to see what Continental comes out with, since its rival Michelin already has an eco tire (shown) that comes as standard equipment on the Peugeot 308.

[Source: Auto Express]

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