StressedDave wrote:Tyre widths have significantly increased over the last 15 years to give a bigger contact patch and more safety for the average driver who just turns the wheel and wants the car to go around corners with a minimum of thought. If you have a wider contact patch, you can't support it easily with a higher sidewall and the 'idiocy factor' would play a significant part.
Contact patch stays the same size though, it's only the shape of it that changes. For a given vehicle mass and given tyre pressure, you will get the same area on the ground to balance the N/mm² equation. Is it the shape of the contact patch that gives the safety (i.e a wide short one on a low profile tyre vs a long narrow one of higher profile tyres)? Is it stability of the contact patch as you apply loads to it? Or is it the rate at which the contact patch is refreshed, i.e for long thin contact patches, any given bit of rubber will stay on the ground for longer compared to low profiles tyres and hence asking each bit of rubber to do more work, heats up faster etc?