Irving, Texas – May 30, 2014 - June brings the beginning of summer, vacations and road trips. Each year, there are nearly 11,000 tire-related crashes nationwide, and nearly 200 people die each year from those crashes. Maintaining tire safety and performing routine checks on your vehicle's tires is a key component in avoiding these types of tire-related crashes. To help bring awareness to the importance of tire safety, the National Motor Club (NMC) — one of the nation's largest independent motor clubs — is reminding motorists to follow tire safety practices during the week of June 1 - 7, in honor of National Tire Safety Week.
NMC is supporting this awareness-raising initiative by sharing basic tire maintenance information and tire safety tips with drivers across the country - including hundreds of thousands of NMC members. The educational campaign will include a week of media outreach, as well as a series of informative e-mail and social media alerts. For more information on tire safety, visit the NMC website to access the Tire Maintenance and Repair Guide.
"Families on vacation, college students returning home, and cross-country road trippers are all hitting the road, which is why June is the perfect time to remind drivers about the fundamentals of tire safety and maintenance," said Matt Krzysiak, CEO of National Motor Club. "NMC believes in promoting and sharing information about safe driving, so we are urging everyone to use this information to make tire safety a regular part of your vehicle maintenance routine. The time spent performing tire safety checks is a minimal investment compared with the inconvenience and safety consequences of a flat tire or other tire failure. Many crashes can be avoided simply by understanding routine tire maintenance, keeping track of the age of your tires, and being aware of tire recalls."
The following tips, compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), outline the fundamentals of tire safety and how vehicle owners can apply tire maintenance in their automobile care routine:
- Balance, align, rotate. Consult your owner's manual, and if it advises tire rotation, have it done at the recommended interval. That won't produce any benefits you can immediately feel, but it will assure that your tires, as well as some driveline components, will last longer. And if you notice steering-wheel pulsation, or if your vehicle is pulling to the side when on a straight, mostly level road, take your vehicle in to your mechanic, or to a wheel and alignment expert.
- Properly inflate your tires. Proper tire inflation is essential for safe and efficient vehicle operation. Vehicles with properly inflated tires experience optimum ride and handling characteristics, shorter braking distances, longer tire life and improved fuel economy.
- Study your tread. While damaged or improperly inflated tires that go unchecked too long can lead to suspension, steering or driveline issues, issues with other systems can also have a detrimental impact on your tires. Look for fraying, scalloping, cupping or any kind of uneven wear and take it as a life-saving warning sign. Inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or other signs of wear or trauma. Remove bits of glass and other foreign objects wedged in the tread.
- Register your tires. The NHTSA issues about 20 tire recalls per year, and if you register your tires' details (to receive e-mail recall notifications), you're far less likely to miss a crucial safety issue. You can also file tire complaints independently of the federal government's recall channels. Visit www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov to access the form.
- Buy the right tire for your needs. The safest tires might not always be the most fuel-efficient or the longest-lasting — and know that specialty tires out of their element can be dangerous. For instance, soft, summer-performance tires that arrive on some top-performance models are ill-suited for cold, wet roads. Likewise, using special winter tires year round is going to cost you some safety (and a lot of tread wear) when used in hot weather.
- Don't overload your vehicle. Be sure to know the recommended maximum load for the vehicle. This can be found in the tire information placard or owner's manual. When towing a trailer, remember some of the weight of the loaded trailer is transferred to the towing vehicle.
- Tires don't just wear; they age. Most tires age to a point, at six to ten years, at which you can have "safe" tread left yet the compound is no longer safe. Don't wait for a blowout or tread separation before you decide to replace the tires on that older vehicle that you only take out once in a while. And yes, spares age, too.