What has the highest chance of puncturing your tire?

  • Driving over a piece of glass at 5mph


  • Driving over a piece of glass at 30mph

The former would have quicker contact but the latter would be gentler.


Here's the thing. Modern tires are pretty tough gizmos. They can stand up to a lot of abuse, even broken glass. You are right that the slower contact would be gentler, but you forgot a key ingredient ... it will also be gentler on the glass as well. When you are at speed and run over a piece of glass, you're not being gentle on the glass. It will more than likely be destroyed in the contact. Some of the outer tire tread might be damaged by the contact, but for the most part the tire will come through unscathed. An exception where the glass would fare better than the tire is if the glass were to run up the sidewall during contact. There is less protection there for the tire (on most tires) than on the tread portion. This could cut the sidewall causing catastrophic tire failure, but this would occur whether going fast or slow. When the car is going slow, the glass has more chance of penetrating the tire in the tread portion. This would be more than likely fixable, but the damage is more likely to be greater than it would be with a fast moving tire.

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