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Drivers Incur Big Costs From Poor Tire Maintenance - VIDEO ENHANCED


To watch a great short video about the importance of tire maintenance click the PLAY button at the bottom of the page.

SACRAMENTO, CA - April 24, 2007: Yesterday, the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Rubber Manufacturers Association RMA) conducted the Sacramento launch of National Tire Safety Week to demonstrate the impacts that proper tire maintenance has on gas mileage, tire life and passenger safety.

In a recent survey we conducted only 55 percent of drivers said they checked their tire pressure within the past month compared to 70 percent last year when fuel prices peaked, said Daniel Zielinski, RMA Vice President, Communications. Maximizing tire performance and safety depends on regular maintenance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), low tire pressure-related crashes are to blame for 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries every year. NHTSA estimates that about one in four cars and one in three light trucks has at least one significantly under inflated tire.

These alarming statistics are a critical reason why RMA is sponsoring the sixth annual National Tire Safety Week, which runs April 22 28, in partnership with CIWMB and CHP in California.

There is a real need to educate drivers about tire maintenance in order to increase vehicle safety and tire performance as well as extend the life of the tires and save money on gas, explains Margo Reid Brown, CIWMB Board Chair. California currently generates 40 million scrap tires annually which have significant impacts on our environment.

At todays event CHP driving instructors also got behind the wheel and demonstrated how poor tire maintenance can impact safe driving. Demonstrations included a vehicle with bald rear tires, bald front tires, and a vehicle with improperly inflated tires. The CHP instructors depicted how the vehicles handle poorly during wet weather conditions and when trying to swerve or stop to avoid roadway obstacles.

During the event RMA urged motorists to follow several maintenance tips, including:

• Measure tire pressure monthly using a good quality tire gauge. A visual inspection is not sufficient to detect under or over-inflated tire problems.

• Have tires aligned regularly and check owner's manual for specific recommendations. A pulling or vibration sensation means that alignment should be checked sooner.

• Rotate tires regularly, usually every 5,000-8,000 miles.

• Monitor tread wear and replace tires when tire tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. Proper tire tread prevents skidding and hydroplaning.

• Tires should be balanced periodically or when drivers feel a vibration.

• Conduct a visual check for embedded stones, glass and other foreign objects that could work their way into the tire and cause a leak.

More than 17,000 tire dealers, auto dealers, AAA clubs and others throughout the country will make RMA tire care information brochures available to consumers during National Tire Safety Week. Additionally, most tire retail locations provide free tire pressure services to motorists throughout the year. In Northern California, Les Schwab has partnered with CIWMB and RMA to advertise their free tire safety checks to all drivers during the entire month of April.

For information about National Tire Safety Week or RMA's "Be Tire Smart" program visit: www.betiresmart.orghref>.

About RMA
The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

RMA's "Be Tire Smart" program is funded by its manufacturer members: Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin North America, Pirelli North America, Inc., Toyo Tire North America and Yokohama Tire Corporation.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board is the state's leading authority on recycling and waste reduction. It promotes reducing waste whenever possible, managing all materials to their highest and best use and protecting public health and safety and the environment.

CIWMB is conducting a two-year campaign on proper tire maintenance in an effort to help motorists be safe, save money and extend the life of tires as well as promote the purchase of tire-derived products and other recycled materials. The California Integrated Waste Management Board is one of six boards, departments, and offices within the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA).