My new car has wheels/tires that are set up more for high performance than my last car. As is the trend these days that means lower profile tires. Nothing too extreme, though: these tires are 235/45R17 where my last ones were 205/55R16. If my calculations are correct, that's a sidewall height of 4.16 inches vs 4.44 inches with the old ones. That number sounds a little high to me just based on eyeballing the tires, but in any case it's not that big a difference, so I suppose I shouldn't worry about it. But just a reality check: How much does the risk of wheel damage on rough roads increase with shorter sidewalls? Not necessarily talking about hitting a killer pothole at 90 mph, but I occasionally have to do some low speed driving on dirt roads that are, shall we say, less than perfectly maintained. I'm talking eroded rural driveway kind of stuff, not "real" offroading. How careful does one need to be? How much of a buffer do the OEMs include when they spec wheel construction and tire sizes?