WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey finds that only one in six US drivers is "tire smart" when it comes to checking tire pressure - a quick and simple step that can optimize vehicle safety and fuel economy and helps tires last longer.
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The survey also found that women are less likely to be "tire smart" than men, and that younger drivers (18-39) are less likely to know basic tire care compared to older (60+) drivers.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which represents tire manufacturers in the U.S., conducted the survey to gauge motorists' awareness about proper tire maintenance. Significant differences exist between men and women and also between younger and older drivers.
Release of the survey coincides with the RMA-sponsored "National Tire Safety Week," an initiative within the group's Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART consumer tire care education program.
Men are more likely than women to be "tire smart," according to the survey. About 20 percent of men and 14 percent of women are considered "tire smart." The survey identifies "tire smart" drivers as those who know to check tire pressure monthly; know to check tires when they are cold (before driving) and; know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle's tires – a tire information label on the driver's door or door jamb or in the owner's manual.
A more stark difference exists between generations. Twenty-seven percent of drivers aged 60 and older are "tire smart" while only 8 percent of drivers 18-39 know the basic tips for properly checking tire pressure.
Under inflated tires pose a safety risk, waste fuel and cause premature tire wear. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes involving tires contribute to 195 fatalities annually. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that properly inflated tires can save about 11 cents a gallon at today's gas prices.
RMA urges motorists to Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART.
Pressure: Check tire pressure monthly with a tire gauge and inflate to vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure.
Alignment: Misalignment of wheels can cause uneven and rapid tread-wear.
Rotation: Rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to 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.
SOURCE Rubber Manufacturers Association