Most Motorists Fail to Properly Check Tire Pressure

Simple Tips Promote Safety, Improve Gas Mileage

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 24, 2006 - Better tire maintenance by motorists could reduce highway crashes, save gasoline and keep tires rolling longer according to tire manufacturers, motorist safety advocates and California highway safety officials.

Officials with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), AAA of Northern California and the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) joined forces at the start of National Tire Safety Week to urge motorists to take five minutes each month to check tire pressure or to take advantage of free tire pressure services offered by tire retailers, auto dealers, AAA-approved auto repair shops and other outlets statewide.

In a written communication, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed his support to raising California drivers’ awareness of the importance of tire maintenance. “Sound automobile tire care and maintenance protects motorist safety and saves lives,” he wrote.

During today’s event at the Goodyear Auto Center in downtown Sacramento, motorists will be provided with free tire pressure checks and received free tire gauges.

An RMA nationwide survey conducted in February, found:

  • Only 19 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure. Properly checking tires means checking at least once a month before tires have been driven even a mile and inflating them to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure, not the pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
  • 28 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven at least a few miles.
  • Less than half of drivers know where to find the correct tire pressure – on a sticker in their vehicle that’s usually found on the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. 53 percent wrongly believe that the correct pressure is found on the tire sidewall.
  • 73 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire.
  • Each month, three out of four drivers wash their car while only about one in five correctly checks their tire pressure.

“Our efforts are aimed at getting consumers to be aware of basic tire care practices,” said Donald B. Shea, RMA President and CEO. “Properly inflated tires maximize safety, improve fuel economy and will help tires last longer.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that nearly one out of every three vehicles on the road has a significantly under inflated tire and that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur every year as a result of low tire pressure-related crashes.

“Tires connect our vehicles to the road,” said CHP Assistant Chief Steve Beeuwsaert. “Ensuring the safety of your car and your passengers includes regular tire care and maintenance. Under inflated and over inflated tires can both be safety hazards. It is the CHP’s goal to make sure all drivers arrive safely to every destination. Motorists can do their part and protect family and friends by checking their tires at least once a month.”

AAA too often sees the consequences of the lack of tire maintenance – in California, more than 1 million calls per year are tire related. To help consumers with tire care, AAA-approved facilities throughout the state offer free maintenance and safety inspections to check for tire wear and proper inflation.

“Making sure tires are properly inflated is one of the easiest and most important maintenance procedures for drivers. Not only does it promote safety but also will save money at the gas pump,” said Jenny Mack of AAA of Northern California.

The Automobile Club of Southern California also lent its support of National Tire Safety Week. “AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities throughout the state offer free tire pressure service to all motorists,” said Elaine Beno, spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The California Office of Traffic Safety urged motorists to include tire care in a regular routine to ensure that their vehicles are road-worthy. “The goal here is to ensure that motorists throughout the state are taking a quick check of their tires once a month. We want tire safety to be as basic as buckling your seat belt,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy.

As a kickoff to National Tire Safety Week, RMA is co-hosting tire care events in Sacramento, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz. and Austin, Texas. This year, more than 14,000 retail stores across the country will be distributing RMA tire safety information. Nearly every tire retail outlet provides free tire pressure inflation services to all motorists.

“Motorists are welcome to all Goodyear Auto Centers for free tire pressure service throughout the year,” said Goodyear Auto Center store manager Tom Heliker. “It only takes five minutes each month with a tire gauge to check tire pressure. We’re happy to perform this service or to show drivers how to do it themselves.”

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative of RMA’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program to promote proper tire care, which leads to a safer driving experience. PART stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread, four basic elements of tire care.

More information about the “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program and National Tire Safety Week can be found at www.betiresmart.org. Additional tire safety information can be found at NHTSA’s web site, www.safercar.gov and on AAA club web sites at www.aaa.com.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Four in Five Drivers Do Not Properly Check Tire Pressure

Regular Tire Care Can Improve Gas Mileage and Maximize Vehicle Safety

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 23, 2006 - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that about one in every three cars has a significantly under inflated tire and that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur every year as a result of low tire pressure-related crashes. AAA reports that each year they receive about 4 million roadside assistance calls due to tire-related incidents. Not surprisingly, a 2006 Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) survey found that more than 80 percent of drivers do not know how to properly check their tire pressure.

According to the Department of Energy properly inflated tires can also improve gas mileage by around 3.3 percent and save 9 cents per gallon at the gas pump. RMA’s goal is to encourage motorists to take better care of their tires.

“Not enough drivers are taking proper care of their tires and that can have an effect on vehicle safety,” said Donald B. Shea, RMA President and CEO. “Properly inflated tires promote safety, help tires last longer and maximize fuel efficiency.”

An RMA nationwide survey conducted in February, found:

  • Only 19 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure. Properly checking tires means checking at least once a month before tires have been driven even a mile and inflating them to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure, not the pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
  • 28 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven at least a few miles.
  • Less than half of drivers know where to find the correct tire pressure – on a sticker in their vehicle that’s usually found on the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. 53 percent wrongly believe that the correct pressure is found on the tire sidewall.
  • 73 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire.
  • Each month, three out of four drivers wash their car while only about one in five correctly checks their tire pressure.

To address these driver shortfalls, the RMA today announced the kickoff of the fifth annual National Tire Safety Week. As part of its “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program, RMA has designated the last week of April to educate motorists about the importance of tire safety and proper tire care. PART stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread. To prepare for this week RMA has worked with more than 14,000 retail partners throughout the country to open their garage doors for drivers looking for instruction and information on tire care and maintenance. Many tire dealers and auto repair shops offer free tire inflation pressure services throughout the year.

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative of RMA’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program to promote proper tire care, which leads to a safer driving experience. PART stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread, four basic elements of tire care. Partners in the Be Tire Smart program include tire retailers, auto dealers, safety advocates and state government agencies. Among the list of Be Tire Smart partners are: AAA, American Car Care Centers, Big 10 Tires, Belle Tire, Big O Tires, Discount Tire Co., Firestone Complete Auto Care, Goodyear Auto Service Centers, Kaufman Tire, Les Schwab, Merchant’s Tire, National Tire and Battery (NTB), National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Northwest Tire, Peerless Tires, Pep Boys, ProCare Automotive Services, Sears Automotive Centers, STS Tire and Auto Centers, Sullivan Tires, Tire Centers-LLC, Tire Factory, Tire Kingdom, Tires Plus, Town Fair Tires, VIP Parts, Tires and Service and many others.

More information about the “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program and National Tire Safety Week can be found at www.betiresmart.org. Additional tire safety information can be found at NHTSA’s web site, www.safercar.gov and on AAA club web sites at www.aaa.com.

The Be Tire Smart program is funded by RMA’s tire manufacturer members: Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin North America, Pirelli North America, Inc. and Yokohama Tire Corporation.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Be Tire Smart Texas!

Regular Tire Care Can Improve Gas Mileage and Maximize Vehicle Safety

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 22, 2006 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) encourages drivers to make the safest choices when it comes to their vehicle. Each year the last week of April is dedicated to tire care and as the fifth annual National Tire Safety Week is kicked off tomorrow, RMA along with more than 14,000 partners nationwide will be communicating that proper tire maintenance can reduce highway crashes, save gasoline and keep tires rolling longer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tire-related incidents result in more than 600 fatalities and an additional 33,000 injuries annually. In partnership with the Texas Tire Dealers Association (TTDA), RMA is urging drivers to take advantage of the tire care maintenance resources available to them at tire retail and automotive service stations throughout the state of Texas, many of which offer free tire pressure checks year round.

An RMA nationwide survey conducted in February, found:

  • Only 19 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure. Properly checking tires means checking at least once a month before tires have been driven even a mile and inflating them to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure, not the pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
  • 28 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven at least a few miles.
  • Less than half of drivers know where to find the correct tire pressure – on a sticker in their vehicle that’s usually found on the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. 53 percent wrongly believe that the correct pressure is found on the tire sidewall.
  • 73 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire.
  • Each month, three out of four drivers wash their car while only about one in five correctly checks their tire pressure.

“We aim to educate drivers on the benefits that result from regular tire care; a simple five minute investment each month will maximize vehicle safety, improve gas mileage and increase the lifespan of their tires,” said RMA President and CEO Donald B. Shea.

At the TTDA annual meeting today in Austin, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC and legendary racer Mario Andretti officially launched www.SafetyScholars.com. The web site will be a place for students to submit essays on their choice of topics pertaining to driving for a chance to earn college scholarship money, new laptops, Bridgestone tires and gas cards. Additionally, the site will serve as an educational resource on a wide variety of driver issues for young drivers to reference as they get acclimated to driving.

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative of RMA’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program to promote proper tire care, which leads to a safer driving experience. PART stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread, four basic elements of tire care.

More information about the “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program and National Tire Safety Week can be found at www.betiresmart.org.Additional tire safety information can be found at NHTSA’s web site, www.safercar.gov.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Be Tire Smart Arizona!

Regular Tire Care  Can Improve Gas Mileage and Maximize Vehicle Safety

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 21, 2006 - According to a 2006 survey, more than 80 percent of drivers do not properly check their tire pressure. For that reason, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) will be kicking off the fifth annual National Tire Safety Week this Sunday, April 23 and is encouraging Arizona drivers to be more aware of what it takes to maintain safe tires.

Governor Janet Napolitano has voiced her support by issuing a statewide proclamation that will serve as an official weeklong reminder for Arizona drivers to check their tires. The RMA joined forces with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Discount Tire, AAA-Arizona and the Arizona Department of Public Safety in Phoenix today to launch this year’s effort to educate drivers on how and why it is so important to take care of their tires.

“Unfortunately not enough drivers realize the benefits that proper tire care can have,” said Donald B. Shea, RMA President and CEO. “A quick check of your tires can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage, maximize the lifespan of your tires and lead to a safer overall driving experience, but our research shows that not enough drivers are getting the message.”

An RMA nationwide survey conducted in February, found:

  • Only 19 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure. Properly checking tires means checking at least once a month before tires have been driven even a mile and inflating them to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure, not the pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
  • 28 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven at least a few miles.
  • Less than half of drivers know where to find the correct tire pressure – on a sticker in their vehicle that’s usually found on the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. 53 percent wrongly believe that the correct pressure is found on the tire sidewall.
  • 73 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire.
  • Each month, three out of four drivers wash their car while only about one in five correctly checks their tire pressure.

RMA urges drivers to invest just five minutes each month for basic tire maintenance. If Arizona motorists are not sure about the best care for their tires they can have their tire pressure checked throughout the year free of charge at Discount Tire company locations, AAA-Approved Auto Repair facilities and many other tire retail stores.

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative of RMA’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program to promote proper tire care, which leads to a safer driving experience. This year more than 14,000 tire retailers nationwide are participating in the effort to educate motorists about the importance of tire care. PART stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread, four basic elements of tire care.

More information about the “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” program and National Tire Safety Week can be found at www.betiresmart.org. Additional tire safety information can be found at NHTSA’s web site, www.safercar.gov and on AAA club web sites at www.aaa.com.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.