Michelin Reminds Drivers to Be Safety Savvy During National Tire Safety Week

Jun 07, 2010, 06:00 ET from Michelin North America

GREENVILLE, S.C., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Choosing the right tires and properly maintaining them are effective ways to enhance your vehicle's performance and improve road safety. This week is National Tire Safety Week and leading tire manufacturer Michelin is reminding consumers of the benefits of choosing the right tires and of simple, cost-effective ways to contribute to tire safety.  After all – your tires are the only part of your car in contact with the road.  

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100607/LA16263)

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100607/LA16263)

Choosing a tire with a complete balance of performance characteristics is essential for a safe and enjoyable driving experience.  Michelin, whose research and development programs have long been focused on finding the right balance, provides unrivaled expertise in the area of increasing fuel-efficiency without sacrificing other performances.  

Tires account for nearly 20 percent of the energy consumed to move a car forward, so finding a tire that combines fuel efficiency with safety and longevity, such as the new Michelin® Primacy™ MXM4® tire, which stops up to 19 feet shorter in wet conditions than a leading competitor(1), will provide the best all-around performance for most luxury vehicles on the road today.  

More Tire Safety Tips

The following tire care tips will help maintain a safe driving experience:

Check Tire Inflation

Proper inflation is essential for the performance and longevity of a tire. Under-inflated tires will make your tire wear unevenly and negatively impact performance. In addition, keeping your tire pressure at the recommended level can boost fuel efficiency by one mile per gallon. The Department of Transportation estimates that 5 million gallons of fuel per day are wasted due to low tire pressure.

  • Be sure to properly check all four tires once a month and before a long trip – you can't tell if a tire is under inflated just by looking at it. If it actually looks under inflated, it is severely under inflated.
  • Do not inflate tires to the maximum pressure molded onto the tire's sidewall.  The optimum tire pressure required for your car can be found on a sticker in the door jamb, on the inside of the glove compartment door or in the owner's manual. 
  • Check the pressure when the tires are cold – first thing in the morning is best.
  • Many gas stations have free tire pressure gauges and air-filling facilities or, purchase your own tire gauge (a digital pressure gauge is recommended).

Rotate Tires Regularly

Regular rotation helps extend the life of your tires, saving time and money in the long run.  For rotation, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position.  Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. If you have a full-size spare, it should be included in the rotation process. Rotations can be done at your local oil lube stations or mechanic shop. 

Keep Proper Vehicle Alignment

Alignment generally refers to the adjustment of a vehicle's front and rear suspension parts. Proper alignment helps ensure that your vehicle handles correctly and will help increase the life and performance of your tires. Alignments can be done in conjunction with a tire rotation at your local oil lube stations or mechanic shop. 

Check Tire Tread Depth

In most states, the minimum legal tread depth is 2/32 of an inch. If you place a penny with the top of Abraham Lincoln's head facing down into your tires' shallowest groove and you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires.

About National Tire Safety Week

National Tire Safety Week is an initiative backed by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and its members that aims to educate consumers nationwide about essential tire safety maintenance practices. In its eighth year, the annual event is part of the "Be Tire Smart - Play Your PART" program, a year-round effort designed to help drivers learn the simple steps they can take to ensure that their tires are in good working condition.

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin (www.michelin.com) designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs approximately 20,900 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

(1) Based on wet braking test results versus Continental® ContiProContact™ tires.

SOURCE Michelin North America