How Run-flat Tires Work

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires are included in the optional Z07 performance package on the 2013 Corvette Z06 and a PDE performance package on the 2013 Corvette ZR1. The tires are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. Want to learn more? Check out these car safety pictures.

It happens a lot more than we think: Race car technology inspires a useful development for an everyday car. Unfortunately (though not surprisingly) these innovations tend to be expensive (at least at first) and limited in availability. But as the technology proves itself, such components are easier to find on everyday cars.

Run-flat tires are one such example; though the limited availability issue is improving somewhat. Consumer Reports says that as the technology behind run-flats get better, they're becoming more mainstream and easier to find -- and the prices are dropping, too. Believe it or not, run-flats are becoming almost common as they're now standard equipment on a lot of mid-range and luxury cars. But anyone shopping for a new car should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of run-flats before buying.

Run-flats are designed to hold out for about 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) after suffering a puncture wound. This grace period, so to speak, enables drivers to cope with a blowout without resorting to panicked and potentially dangerous tactics, like cutting across several lanes of traffic to reach the side of the road, swapping to the spare on a narrow shoulder with traffic whizzing by, or losing control of the car entirely in a blowout situation. One last roadside scenario that run-flats may save you from: We've all seen a car sitting pathetically on its brake rotor on the side of the road after its owner lost control of the flimsy jack. With run-flats, you won't be "that guy."