contact patch

noun
the area of contact between a tire on an automotive vehicle and the road surface.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
The fact is that bicycle tires have a proportionally smaller contact patch than
  cars do relative to our size and weight.
The tread surface of an automobile tire is squished inwards by the sidewalls at
  the contact patch.
Remember, motorcycles maintain a smaller tire contact patch on the roadway when
  compared to other vehicles.
It can also decrease braking traction because the contact patch at the
  tire-road interface is reduced.
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