We can argue that the other variables can come into play which is very true, but it still doesn't alter the fact that on one make of tyres you will have substantially less grip than the other and it has to have a negative effect in the grand scheme of things.
That's very true. And it's also true that scrapyards contain many performance cars with high performance tyres which fell off the road. The driver is the key component, that never changes.
I feel we're victoms of poorly constructed road traffic campaigns. like the one from Safe Speed which showed that the improvement in road safety is less for the UK than it is for most of Europe.
They stated that because the improvement in the number of fatal accidents was only 3%, compared to about 12% for other European countries, that our government wasn't doing enough to improve road safety.
What they didn't linger on was that per 100,000 miles travelled the UK had almost the safest roads in the world, and when you have the safest roads the possibility to improve is strictly limited.
The same thing goes for tyre safety IMHO. To measure the ultimate stopping distance from 70mph and pick the tyre which stops the quickest and then calling it the safest tyre, when the difference in distance is not particularly great makes no sense to me.
If there were any connection to cars with 'poor quality' tyres having more accidents the statistics would support it by now and there would be a government campaign encouraging people to use only tyres of a certain grip rating (if not make it law).
And having said all of that, don't think for a minute I don't know or appreciate the difference between hard cheap rubber and performance rubber....but I see it from both sides. If yoiu cannot drive safely on budget tyres the biggest problem isn't with the tyres