Double tires in Sweden cost lives, even in Congo

Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB

Double decks cost more lives for people, in different ways than they do by road safety. The worst is the bad air when the nubs of asphalt erupt, but the circumstances under the cobalt breakdown in Congo have been weighed by Chalmers researchers. Stock Photography.

The debate on the tires continues. Now researchers from Chalmers are adding to the poor working environment in the mines of Congo, where cobalt is often extracted to the dubs. The conclusion is that the total costs of the tires in lost years cost more than they win.

Better braking on oily tires with double tires than with other winter tires. But the dubs tear particles out of the asphalt, creating air pollution that affects health and causes people to die prematurely.

What is the most important?

The conflict between road safety and the environment is now known. Chalmers, however, has gone further and has chosen a holistic approach to how the band influences people's health. The conclusion is that the double deck costs more, in terms of lost life years for people than they win by the same measure.

Simple mines

The added aspect is about how the metal cobalt is extracted from the nubs, often in small-scale mines in the Congo-Kinshasa. The researchers have investigated accident statistics from the mines.

"About 50 percent of all cobalt comes from Congo, where a very large part comes from very simple mines", says Sverker Molander, professor

"Then there is the whole scale, there is cobalt from other places where mining is high-tech with good luck", he adds.

According to Molander it is not inconceivable that tire manufacturers place higher demands on DRC players on the working environment in the cobalt mines. But it is not easy, partly because there are many intermediaries.

Dangerous air

The most significant negative impact on the life-years problem, however, is the health-hazardous air from roads and streets in Sweden, where cars drive with a double-decker.

Sverker Molander advocates the use of winter tires without a tire.

"I think that the need to drive a tire is not really as big as the manufacturers want us to believe in. If you need a double deck, you can drive more carefully and nowadays there are also anti-slip and anti-spin features in our cars that help, says Sverker Molander.

– In soft snow, the profile determines the tire. Not the dubs.

He also emphasizes the importance of good road maintenance.

– Put away the snow and put some gravel on, Molander's prescription.


The calculation of lost or lost life years is based on a life cycle analysis based on measures developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the invention the tires on Swedish roads in the winter save between 60 and 770 years of life in traffic, while between 570 and 2 200 years of life are lost due to the tires for other reasons.

"There is considerable uncertainty in our data", Sverker Molander admits.

At the same time, he stresses that highly calculated values ​​for each factor must be compared with highly calculated values ​​for other factors.

"Our main point is the big difference between lost and lost years, not the numbers themselves", says Molander.

"I think the need to drive with a tire is not really as big as the manufacturers want us to believe.

Sverker Molander, professor at Chalmers.

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