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.

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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.