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Hot Temps, Low Air Pressure May Lead to Tire Trouble

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Proper Tire Pressure Promotes Safety, Saves Gas, Helps Tires Last

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2007 -- Summer time heat and under inflated tires may spell trouble on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur each year due to under inflated tires.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers, recommends that tire pressure be checked every month and before long trips. Remember to check tires before driving -- when tires are cold -- to get an accurate reading. Driving even a mile can cause tire inflation pressure to increase. Use the correct tire inflation pressure, which can be found on a label on the driver's door or check the owner's manual.

"Heat is the enemy of a tire," says Donald B. Shea, president and CEO, Rubber Manufacturers Association. "Under inflation generates heat within a tire and when combined with hot, summer air temperatures can cause dangerous safety issues for your vehicle. Properly inflated tires help maximize safety, fuel economy and tire longevity."

  A 2007 motorist survey by RMA found:
  -- Eighty-five percent of drivers fail to properly check tire pressure.
     Properly checking pressure means checking every month when tires are
     cold and using the correct tire pressure.
  -- Sixty percent of drivers don't know where to find the correct inflation
     pressure for their vehicle.  The correct pressure is found on a label
     on the driver's door or check the owner's manual -- not the tire
  -- Twenty-six percent of drivers 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 seven in ten drivers wash their vehicle every month but only 15
     percent properly check tire pressure.

"Checking tire pressure takes only five minutes every month with a tire gauge. If you're unsure of what to do, most tire retailers, auto dealers and auto service facilities will check and adjust tire pressure free of charge."