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June 09, 2009

National Tire Safety Week is June 7th-13th

Tires National Tire Safety Week, an initiative backed by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, is here to remind drivers to check something that’s often neglected- their tires. The RMA makes tire maintenance simple by using the acronym PART- pressure, alignment, rotation and tread.


Correct tire pressure is especially important this summer, as properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent and save $.06 a gallon at the pump, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Approximately 1.2 billion gallons of fuel are wasted each year by U.S. motorists driving on under-inflated tires, which also pose a safety risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that under-inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year. Motorists should check tire inflation at least monthly or before a long trip.

Alignment is easier to judge since a vehicle will often pull to one side when the wheels are misaligned. Alignment should be corrected by a licensed mechanic, since misalignment can cause uneven or premature wear of the tires.

Regularly rotating tires according to your vehicle owner's manual improves safety. A good rule of thumb is to have your tires rotated every 5,000-8,000 miles.

Tread Depth/Tire Wear: Motorists should monitor the wear of their tires to ensure good traction. To quickly check the tire tread, insert a penny in the tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down - if you can see the entire head, your tires are worn and should be replaced.

For more car care tips from RTM, click here, or go straight to RTM's basic Tire Maintenance Guide.

Sources: Firestone, AAA, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Rubber Manufacturers Association, Goodyear, Michelin


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