We Are Not Alone….
It appears it is not only UK motorists who don’t fully appreciate the importance of tyre safety. A nationwide US survey commissioned by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has revealed 85 per cent of American motorists do not properly check tyre inflation pressure.
The RMA survey coincides with National Tire Safety Week, sponsored by the organisation and held between April 20 and 26. The RMA hopes that through the nationwide campaign it can share the basic message that spending five minutes every month checking tyre pressure can save both time and money.
“Record high gas prices should be an incentive for motorists to take every step possible to help make their cars and their money go further,” said RMA senior vice president, public affairs Dan Zielinski. “While our survey found that 61 per cent of motorists agreed that checking tyre pressure is very important to maximising fuel economy, only one in seven drivers properly perform this easy task.” And money will not only be saved at the petrol pump, Zielinski notes – premature tyre wear can be avoided by maintaining correct pressure. “Consumers can help their wallets and the environment by paying attention to their tyres so they last as long as possible, reducing disposal needs,” he commented.
Another message that is the same across the Atlantic, and apparently equally ignored, is that checking tyres is not only a fuel saving measure, it can also be life saving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), under inflated tyres contribute to 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year. The NHTSA estimates that on US roads about one in four cars, and one in three light trucks, have at least one significantly under inflated tyre.
Additional statistics revealed by the RMA survey show:
Forty-six per cent of drivers wrongly believe the correct inflation pressure is printed on the tyre sidewall
Twenty-six per cent of drivers wrongly believe the best time to check tyres is when they are warm
Only one out of every three drivers knows how to tell if a tyre is bald
The RMA recommends that tyre pressure be checked at least once every month with a tyre gauge. The recommended tyre pressure for every vehicle is set by the vehicle manufacturer and can be found on a label usually placed on the driver’s door or check the owner’s manual. Tyres should also, the RMA points out, be checked when cold, or haven’t been driven for at least three hours.
During National Tire Safety Week, RMA and its partners will promote tyre care education to motorists throughout the US. More than 18,000 tyre dealers, car dealers, road service organisations and others throughout the country will provide RMA tyre care information brochures to consumers. “Our goal during National Tire Safety Week is to encourage all motorists to take five minutes to be tyre smart and help save lives, save fuel and save the environment,” Zielinski concluded.