CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (June 10, 2003) — Group Michelin has designed and patented an anti-splash deflector for its truck tires that the company claims reduces by up to 13 feet the height of water sprayed into the air by trucks.
The deflector resembles a wing projecting from the outboard side of the tire at the junction of the tread and sidewall. The deflector will contribute to improving motorists' visibility in rainy weather, especially in situations involving passing or lane changes with trucks, the company said.
The deflector will be an integrated component of the new 385/55 R 22.5 XFA2 Energy tire, being launched this summer in Europe.
Splash is related to the way in which the front tires contact the road, similar in effect to that produced by the nose of a boat, Michelin said. The loss of visibility that passenger vehicle drivers experience when passing trucks on a rainy road is considered by many safety experts a cause for concern, the company said.
The anti-splash deflector also improves the trucker's vision out of his rear-view mirrors.
Michelin is evaluating the development's potential for the North American market. It was shown earlier this year at the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., at the Volvo North America booth.