RMA tire care awareness tour goes to New England

June 23, 2004

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) is bringing its national tire care awareness tour to New England in a pre-July 4th, three-state swing to help educate motorists about the importance of proper tire care.

According to RMA research, only 14% of drivers in New England properly check their tires. Other findings among New England drivers include the following:

* 75% wash their cars while 14% correctly check their tire pressure.

* 45% wrongly believe that the correct inflation pressure is printed on the tire sidewall.

* 33% wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven for at least a few miles.

* Nearly one-third wrongly believe that if they are taking a trip with a fully loaded vehicle that they are better off if their tires are a little bit underinflated.

* 69% don’t know how to tell if their tires are bald.

The three, free tire care events will be held June 24-26. The RMA is co-hosting the events with Town Fair Tire Centers Inc. in Hartford, Conn., on June 24; VIP Discount Auto Centers in Portland, Maine, on June 25; and Sullivan Tire Co. Inc. in Fall River, Mass., on June 26.

"RMA research shows New Englanders rank below the national average for proper tire care," says Don Shea, RMA CEO and president.

"This effort will help New England drivers make sure their tires are properly inflated, making them safer and more fuel efficient."

Shea adds that high gasoline costs can be reduced with properly inflated tires. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drivers can improve their gas mileage by 3.3% by keeping tires properly inflated.

The RMA is conducting consumer outreach activities as part of its "Be Tire Smart, Play Your PART" program. The aim of the educational program is to teach drivers about the importance of taking simple care and maintenance steps "to keep tires safe and performing at optimal levels."