Meet the Tire Contact Patch

45 Contact Patch

Meet the Tire Contact Patch

What is the Tire Contact Patch?

It’s just what it sounds like: The external part of the tire that comes into direct contact with the road, or any other kind of surface you happen to be driving over. We’re not talking about a very large area here. In fact, a typical tire contact patch is about the size of your hand. 

Tire contact patch facts

  • A short and wide tire contact patch, which is usually found on low profile or performance tires, can provide you with more control, corner stability and tire traction.
  • Longer and narrower tire contact patches are most often found on passenger vehicles. They provide a smooth ride with more reliable and predictable handling, including in snowy conditions.
  • High profile tires, like most passenger and light trucks tires, usually have a long and narrow contact patch.
  • Low profile tires typically have a short and wide contact patch, for better performance.
  • Not surprisingly, the larger and heavier the load on the tire, the larger the tire contact patch.
  • The more a tire is inflated, the smaller the tire contact patch.
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