Harry Sipe didn’t invent the concept that is in use today; he improved upon his fathers innovation to make it work. His father originally invented the process but failed to make it successful because solid tires didn’t flex the way pneumatic tires do today reports Wikipedia.
So what is this thing that Harry Sipe’s father invented? It is known as siping, taken directly from Harry’s last name. Siping is the process of taking a brand spanking new tire and slicing the tread with a very sharp tool to produce micro grooves in the tire tread. The results are astonishing. If you want to see a demonstration, just stop by any Les Schwab tire center and ask to see the difference.
Siping creates micro grooves or slits which create incredible traction in wet and icy conditions. Siping also extends the life of the tire tread by allowing the tread to cool more rapidly reducing thermal breakdown.
Why is Siping the answer to fewer vehicle accidents?
Because traction provides control. And as we know, siping creates better traction. Traction is at work during breaking, accelerating and turning. Better traction during acceleration allows vehicles to avoid accidents by getting out of the way more quickly. And better traction during breaking can significantly reduces the amount of distance needed during breaking and increases the time we have to react, which allows us to avoid those rear-end collisions, pedestrian collisions and much more.
Wet and icy roads and the threat of hydroplaning mostly disappear with with tire siping by providing excellent vehicle handling during adverse conditions; something all Southern California drivers need desperately.
Risk managers should work with their fleet vehicle officers to review and research the addition of siping to all new vehicle tire purchases. At just $8 to $12 a tire, the results could save millions in vehicle accidents and the resultant lawsuits.