Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is teaming up with professional race car driver Loni Unser to educate drivers about how to properly maintain their tires during National Tire Safety Week, which runs from August 31 – September 6. A program of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), National Tire Safety Week comes at an important time as many Americans are choosing to take to the road for late summer travel versus other methods of transportation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Unser, a 22-year-old female race car driver and the latest member of the Unser auto racing dynasty, will take part in a day of tire safety outreach on September 2. She will conduct a series of radio and television interviews from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of the legendary Indy 500 race, that will focus on sharing three important tire safety checks that should be performed monthly and before long road trips.
These important tire safety checks include:
- Check tire inflation pressure. Having the right amount of air in your tires, or tire pressure, helps them perform as they should. This gives you better control of your car and helps your tires wear longer and more evenly. Check your tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge and ensure the pressure in each tire – including your spare – matches the ideal tire pressure for your vehicle. This is listed on the sticker inside your car door, glove box or fuel door, or in the car’s manual.
- Inspect the tread depth. Proper tread depth helps tires maintain traction, improves handing and prevents hydroplaning. You can easily check a tire’s tread depth by performing the penny test. Put a penny in the grooves of the tire with Lincoln’s head down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tire.
- Check the overall tire condition. Damaged tires can shorten tire life and cause tire failure or air loss. Look at your tires to ensure they do not have cuts, cracks, punctures or bulges, or any objects lodged in the tread.
“As a professional race car driver I know that the tires on my vehicle are what’s connecting me to the road, so tire safety is top of mind,” said Unser. “But, tire safety isn’t just for the race track. It’s important for everyday drivers to know how to properly maintain their tires, and perform those checks often.”
With the pandemic leading more Americans to take road trips as an alternative to flying, now is a key time to bring tire safety to the forefront. A recent survey conducted for Cooper found 44 percent of Americans say they are taking more road trips due to coronavirus. The study also found the average American has been on two road trips already this summer and is planning another two road trips in the future. These trends are also likely to continue, as 58 percent of survey respondents said they plan to take more road trips in the future.
“Tires are often overlooked, but with more people taking road trips, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness of tire safety,” said Anne Roman, Vice President – Communications & Public Affairs. “At Cooper we design and manufacture great, high quality tires, and we are committed educating drivers about the easy checks they can perform to help maintain their tires. National Tire Safety Week provides an excellent opportunity to bring this topic to the forefront.”
Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) is urging drivers to perform tire safety and maintenance practices as part of National Tire Safety Week (August 31 – September 6). Led by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), the National Tire Safety Week “Know Your Roll,” initiative aims to educate consumers about proper tire care and maintenance as they take to the road for the upcoming Labor Day weekend and throughout the remainder of the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed travel and daily commuting patterns. A recent Harris Poll found a large percentage of Americas plan to use their vehicles for long distance travel through the end of the year. In addition, many Americans see their personal vehicle as the safest mode of travel in the current environment.
“As the only part of a vehicle that directly connects to the road, tires play a critical role in ensuring a safe journey,” said Chris Lasko, Chief Quality Officer, Bridgestone Americas. “Checking tire health is especially important for drivers who may have delayed routine vehicle maintenance in recent months due to COVID-19. We urge all Americans to inspect their tires today and keep their family and others safe on the road.”
Bridgestone reminds drivers that tire safety is as simple as three words: inflate, rotate and evaluate. To make sure tires are ready to hit the road and allow passengers to get to their destination safely, Bridgestone recommends the following easy steps:
- Inflate – Tire pressure should be checked monthly, as well as before long trips or when carrying an extra load, using a tire pressure gauge. Proper inflation information can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the tire information placard in the vehicle’s door jamb near the driver’s seat.
- Rotate – Routine tire rotation prevents uneven tire wear. Tires should be rotated and balanced according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations or every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Visit an authorized Bridgestone dealer or company-owned retail location for support with tire rotation needs.
- Evaluate – Drivers should check tread depth to make sure tires have enough traction to grip the road. All it takes to check the tread depth is a penny. Put the penny into a tread groove, with Abraham Lincoln going in headfirst. If Lincoln’s head is fully visible in several grooves, it’s time for new tires.