NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In advance of the Rubber Manufacturers Association's (RMA) National Tire Safety Week, May 29 - June 4, 2016, Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) is helping drivers prepare their tires for the busy summer driving season. The company's consumer, commercial and retail businesses are providing ongoing education and services to engage summer travelers, commercial truckers and daily drivers around the importance of proper tire care and maintenance.
"At Bridgestone Americas, we're committed to being a good corporate citizen, and raising awareness for the importance of tire safety is one key way we can help improve the lives of those we serve with our products," said Gordon Knapp, chief operating officer, Bridgestone Americas. "This is an ongoing educational effort that our teammates continually support, not only during National Tire Safety Week or the busy summer travel season, but each and every day."
According to a recent consumer survey commissioned by Bridgestone, tires often are overlooked by Americans as a safety feature, despite the fact that they are the only part of a vehicle touching the road. The April 2016 survey, conducted online among 2,109 U.S. adults by Harris Poll, found that only 41 percent of Americans rank tires as one of the three most important safety features of a vehicle. Drivers also are not checking their tires for road-readiness as carefully as they should be. While 58 percent of drivers have checked their tire pressure in the past three months, far fewer (38 percent) have checked their tread depth in the same time frame.
Bridgestone recommends that drivers of cars, pickup trucks, crossovers and SUVs implement a three-step safety plan to help ensure their tires remain in good shape:
- Inflate: Drivers should use a tire pressure gauge to check tire pressure at least once each month, as well as before long trips or when carrying a large load. Tires can lose one psi (pounds per square inch) per month under normal conditions. A lot of drivers depend on their tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to warn them if there is a change in their tire pressure. TPMS is a great tool, but it doesn't replace the need for regular, routine tire pressure checks with a tire pressure gauge.
- Rotate: Regular tire rotations also will help prevent irregular and premature wear. Tires should be rotated and balanced according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations found in the vehicle owner's manual, or every 5,000 miles.
- Evaluate: Routinely look for signs of tread wear or damage. Drivers should check tread depth to make sure their tires have enough traction to grip the road. Use a tread depth gauge or the "penny test." Check by inserting a penny into each tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down. If all of Lincoln's head (including his hair) is visible, it's time to shop for a new set of tires.
Drivers who would like assistance evaluating their tires can visit their local Bridgestone Retail Operations store – Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and WheelWorks – where they can receive free tire pressure checks and tread assessments during National Tire Safety Week (and every other week of the year).
Bridgestone, which has a very large commercial tire business, urges commercial truck drivers and fleet customers also to take this opportunity to educate themselves on proper tire use and care. Introductions of higher state highway speed limits, as well as the trend of commercial trucks running longer, faster and with increased loads, make proper tire care imperative. To promote tire safety, Bridgestone urges commercial truck drivers and fleet owners to:
- Set and maintain proper cold inflation pressures. Cold inflation pressure is the inflation pressure of tires before they are driven.
- Abide by the tire's maximum recommended speed, which may be lower than posted speed limits.
- Select the right tire for the job, considering the proper tire size, load-carrying capacity, speed capability and service type.
- Inspect tires frequently for damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges and penetrations.
Commercial drivers are encouraged to visit one of the company's commercial retail store locations to receive a free tire assessment. Bridgestone owns and operates two commercial retail store networks — GCR Tires & Service, which has more than 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada; and Speedco, which includes 51 U.S. retail locations nationwide.
For more information about National Tire Safety Week and tire care tips, visit www.tiresafety.com.
*Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Bridgestone from April 11-13, 2016, among 2,109 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,980 are drivers. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Rachel Withers, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.
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SOURCE Bridgestone Americas, Inc.