The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a campaign aimed at informing motorists and retailers about choosing and caring for tires. The initiative is dubbed “TireWise.”
NHTSA estimates that tire-related crashes cause nearly 200 fatalities annually. There are about 11,000 tire-related crashes each year.
"Safety is our top priority, and following these simple guidelines will help prevent needless deaths and injuries every year," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This campaign will help consumers make more informed choices every step of the way when it comes to choosing and caring for their tires – keeping them safer and saving them money at the same time."
The TireWise campaign will address:
Tire Buying – how to select the right type, size and rating of tire
Tire Pressure – how to check tire pressure monthly. Proper tire inflation is critical to ensuring safety.
Tread wear – how to check tires for wear and other visual defects monthly. Don't exceed recommended tread-wear limits.
Tire Aging – how to check the age of your tires, when you should consider replacing them, how tires break down over time, the factors that can make tires prone to aging and failure, and what you can do to extend the service life of your tires.
Effects of High Temperatures – how to check tire pressure and conditions in hot climates. Warmer weather can contribute to tire aging and special attention should be given when driving in these areas.
Replacing Tires – how to learn when your tires were manufactured and follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation for replacement, regardless of actual miles on the tire. Tires can deteriorate over time even when not used frequently (for example passenger vans) or at all (spare tires).
To reach as many consumers as possible online and in stores, the TireWise campaign will be featured on SaferCar.gov. All of the content will also be made available to retailers and tire manufacturers across the U.S..
"Working with retailers and tire manufacturers allows us to reach the consumers at the time they are making these critical decisions, which is essential in building public awareness of tire-safety issues," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "Since the implementation of NHTSA's new tire standards, we've seen a significant decrease in tire-related fatalities, and we look forward to working with retailers, manufacturers, and other partners in the industry to continue improving traffic safety."
The retailer materials will include a "Life as a Tire" video that can be played while consumers are shopping for tires or waiting for them to be installed. There is also a "Congratulations on Your New Tire Purchase" form that retailers can fill out with customers. The form provides consumers with information on how to properly care for their tires, including registration so that customers receive a notification if their tires are recalled.
To view the “Life of a Tire” video, click on the photo or link at the top of this article.
Later this year, NHTSA's SaferCar mobile app for Apple and Android products will be updated so that users can sign up for tire recall alerts for their specific tires and also submit tire complaints from their mobile devices. New tire recall information is currently available by following NHTSA on Twitter and Facebook or by signing-up on the SaferCar.gov website for RSS feed and email alerts.