Tire Industry Urges Drivers to ‘Air’ on Side of Safety

The Rubber Manufacturers Association, AAA Texas, and Discount Tire Co. are teaming up to help educate motorists about proper tire care. Citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that under-inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year, the groups are hoping to bring those numbers down.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Discount Tire always offers free tire pressure checks at its locations throughout the country, but today in select cities the first 50 people to visit one its sites to have their air checked out will receive a free RMA tire pressure gauge. RMA, the national trade association for tire manufacturers in the United States, notes that while summer is winding down, families are still packing their vehicles and heading out for vacations. And when under-inflated tires combine with fully loaded cars traveling at highway speed in summertime heat, the risk of tire failure rises.

RMA recently conducted a tire pressure survey, choosing 31 cities throughout the nation for the study. Nationwide, only 17 percent of vehicles had four properly inflated tires; 55 percent of vehicles had at least one under-inflated tire.

The survey’s best-performing cities, those with a higher percentage of vehicles with four properly inflated tires, were Honolulu, Baltimore, Boston, Providence, and Charlotte. At the bottom of the list were Dallas/Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Antonio, and Birmingham. Those latter five metro areas are where RMA is furnishing the free tire gauges today.

The groups note that checking tire pressure is easy and takes just five minutes every month. Motorists should check tires when they are cold -- before driving -- and use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. That information is found on a label on the driver’s door or door post or check the owner’s manual. If unsure how to check pressure properly, visit a Discount Tire Company location anytime for a free tire pressure check.

RMA’s tire manufacturer members also fund a national tire care education program, “Be Tire Smart -- Play Your PART.” The RMA tire manufacturer members funding this program are: Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., Continental the Americas LLC, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Michelin North America Inc., Pirelli North America Inc., Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc., and Yokohama Tire Corp.

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