Are Your Tires Gasping for Air?

RMA, AAA, NHTSA Continue Effort to Educate Motorists about Proper Tire Care

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), AAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Fairfax County, Va. police teamed up today at the Fairfax County Police Emergency Vehicle Operations Center to demonstrate the hazards posed by under inflated tires.  The event also kicks off next week's 10th annual National Tire Safety Week (June 5-11), an initiative of RMA's Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART tire maintenance education program.

Fairfax police driving instructors first drove vehicles with properly inflated tires and then vehicles with significantly under inflated tires through simple maneuvers to demonstrate how vehicle handling is negatively affected by poor tire maintenance.

According to a RMA survey, millions of U.S. drivers do not know how to properly check tire pressure.  This puts them and others at risk and wastes fuel.  The survey found that 85 percent of motorists do not know how to properly inflate tires.  Under inflated tires pose a safety risk because they generate heat inside the tire, which can cause damage that leads to failure. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that properly inflated tires will improve vehicle fuel economy by 3.3 percent and save up to 12 cents per gallon at the pump.

"Ten years ago, NHTSA and AAA helped RMA launch National Tire Safety Week," said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO.  "Our partnership and efforts continue today because our job is not finished.  Too many drivers fail to do one simple task every month that will reduce their safety risk and help our nation conserve valuable natural resources.  Checking tire pressure takes just five minutes and it's worth every second."

NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland, whose agency is charged with creating and enforcing national highway safety standards for vehicles and tires said, "Tires are a critical safety component on vehicles and the only parts that touch the road.  NHTSA imposes stringent testing requirements for every tire sold in the U.S. to ensure the strongest consumer protection possible.  But, the only way to ensure the continued safety performance of tires is for consumers to play their part with regular maintenance starting with inflation pressure. Without the right pressure, consumers are risking safety."

AAA Vice President for Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso noted that AAA will respond to more than one million motorist assistance requests for tire related issues this summer alone. "This summer, AAA anticipates it will come to the rescue of 1.2 million stranded motorists with tire-related issues. Many of these can be avoided by taking a few minutes once a month to ensure tires are properly inflated. During AAA Car Care Month vehicle inspections, technicians found tire issues were the most frequently occurring problem as one out of five vehicles inspected had incorrect tire pressure levels. Improper pressure levels not only put driver's safety at risk but also can cost them extra money in gasoline and tire replacement costs during a time when many are looking to save money."

Captain Susan Collins, Commander of the Fairfax County Police Traffic Division, said the department works hard to educate county residents about important vehicle maintenance and safety information.  "Fairfax officers too often see the consequences of poorly maintained vehicles on county roads," Collins said.  "We appreciate the opportunity to work with industry, safety advocates and government agencies to educate drivers.  Tires that are under inflated or bald will not grip the road properly and that increases the risk of crash.  We urge all motorists to follow simple tire care tips to make sure they get to where they're going safely."

RMA urges all motorists to Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART.  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

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA sets and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and equipment, and through grants to state and local governments enables them to conduct effective local highway safety programs. NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards, helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags, investigates odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Christie Hyde
http://www.profnetconnect.com/Christie.Hyde

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SOURCE AAA



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