Tread patterns influence driving behaviour – report

While much attention has been placed on road rage and its causes, one factor has been overlooked – until now. A newly-released report has found a remarkable correlation between road rage incidents and choice of tyre. Aggressive tread patterns do, it seems, make for aggressive drivers.

Commenting on the report, industry observer Dell Wallace says there is cause for concern: “It’s not uncommon for a brochure or press release to say a new tyre has an aggressive tread pattern, but it’s not just PR. The shape of the grooves and the size and texture of tread elements works on the driver at a sub-conscious level, bringing on irrational aggressive thoughts.”

The UK is often pilloried as the global road rage capital, and of the 300 million or so road rage incidents reported in 2013, it is estimated that between 60 and 70 per cent involved an aggressive tread pattern. So what can the tyre industry do to reduce levels of road rage? One solution, now being developed in a joint venture between a leading tyre maker and health professionals, is the aromatherapy tyre. An unnamed source involved in the project told this publication that “the essential oils, which are REACH compliant, counter the aggression caused by the tread pattern and help calm motorists.” The aromatherapy tyre is expected to be launched on 1 April next year.

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