Poor Tire Care Wasting Fuel, Putting Drivers at Risk

 Tire Industry Wants Motorists to Be Tire Smart for 10th Annual National Tire Safety Week June 5-11

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.June 6, 2011 - Millions of U.S. drivers are putting themselves at risk and wasting fuel by failing to properly check tire pressure, according to a new survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

Only 15 percent of motorists revealed that they know how to correctly check tire pressure. Under inflated tires contribute to more than 600 highway fatalities and 33,000 thousand injuries each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, under inflated tires cause U.S. drivers to waste 1.2 billion gallons of fuel annually.

“Checking tire pressure once a month is one simple step that can preserve precious resources, put money back in consumers’ wallets and save lives,” said Charles A. Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “Unfortunately, too many motorists seem to be more concerned with cleaning their car than keeping it safe.”

RMA’s survey showed that six out of ten drivers wash their car at least once per month but only one in seven properly checks tire pressure. The survey was conducted as part of the RMA-sponsored National Tire Safety Week, June 5-11.

Other survey findings include:

  • 62 percent of drivers do not know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle. 53 percent say it’s the tire sidewall while 14 percent do not know at all
  • 43 percent of drivers do not know that tires should be checked “cold” – before driving.
  • 52 percent of drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald.
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire.
  • 3 out of 4 motorists cite checking tire pressure as a top fuel saving tip.
  • 60 percent drivers say they wash their car at least once a month.
  • 20 percent of male motorists and 9 percent of female motorists properly check tire pressure.

RMA, which represents tire manufacturers in the U.S., promotes tire care awareness through its Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART program. PART is an acronym for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread – the four key elements of tire care.

  • Pressure: Check air pressure, under-inflation is the leading cause of wear and tear of tires
  • Alignment: Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread-wear
  • Rotation: Regularly rotating your vehicle’s tires will help you achieve more uniform wear
  • Tread: Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions

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

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.