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White House kicks off tire safety campaign

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White House kicks off tire safety campaign

The Obama Administration is looking to tire manufacturers and NASCAR to help educate Americans about the importance of tire maintenance and safety, as well as the role tires play in promoting energy efficiency.

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx says a campaign with a goal of minimizing the number of tire-related crashes, reducing carbon pollution and saving drivers money on fuel. According to the White House, there are about 11,000 tire-related vehicle crashes in the U.S. each year, many of which can be prevented with proper tire inflation, balance, alignment and rotation maintenance. The White House says consumers also need to understand tire labels, aging, recalls and complaints.

The outline of the DOT plan:

* Set a goal to finalize a rule establishing a tire fuel efficiency consumer information program by 2017 so consumers can identify the most energy-efficient tires.

* Partner with NASCAR on a Drive for Safety campaign during next year's racing season.

* Collaborate with tire manufacturers, fuel distributors and tire retailers to kick off a Tire Safety Awareness Month from Dec. 9, 2014, to Jan. 9, 2015.

* Release a Be TireWise guide.

The administration says 232 million passenger cars and light trucks in the U.S. consume about 134 billion gallons of fuel each year. By prompting drivers to make good choices when they purchase tires and educating them to maintain their tires, consumers would use less fuel, save money at the pump and reduce carbon pollution that causes climate change. The White House says by enabling a driver to travel farther on a gallon of fuel, along with proper tire maintenance and the use of low rolling resistance tires could save a driver up to $80 a year and avoid up to 560 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution annually, which is the equivilant of 600 miles of emission-free driving.

If 10 million drivers kept their tires properly inflated they could save almost $500 million and 1.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution a year. If 10 percent of tire buying customers purchased tires that were 10 percent more efficient, the annual savings would exceed $200 million and 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, the White House says.

Already the largest tire manufacturers have signed on in varying ways to support Tire Safety Month. The list includes: Bridgestone Americas Inc., Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Michelin North America Inc., Pirelli Tire North America Inc., Continental Tire the Americas LLC, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. and Yokohama Tire Corp.

Additional partners include Discount Tire, which is part of the Reinalt-Thomas Corp., and is the No. 1 dealer on the MTD 100; the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, ExxonMobil, BP and TireRack.com.

Read the entire White House announcement here.

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