NASHVILLE — Bridgestone Americas Inc. has drafted IndyCar driver Graham Rahal to help it promote National Tire Safety Week, an initiative of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) running June 28-July 4.
Mr. Rahal, who drives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series, will appear in videos throughout the week, including a LinkedIn Live interview on the Bridgestone Americas page and a series of satellite interviews on broadcast TV with Cara Adams, director of race tire engineering, that will be aired throughout the morning of June 30.
In addition, Bridgestone has shot and posted informational videos, including one featuring Keith Willcome, a field engineer, that remind drivers to inflate, rotate and evaluate their tires before hitting the road for Independence Day.
Mr. Rahal is a six-time winner on the IndyCar circuit during his 13-year career in the open-wheel racing series and a new dad.
"Many people don't realize that proper tire care is critical to vehicle performance, whether you're doing 240 mph on a superspeedway, navigating your daily commute, or taking that big summer road trip with your family," he said.
"As a new father and a racecar driver, safety is my passion. That's why I'm excited to partner with Bridgestone for National Tire Safety Week and remind all drivers to take care of their tires so that they can take care of you."
A recent Bridgestone survey of U.S. drivers revealed more than half of Americans plan to travel by car this summer to reach their vacation destinations, while nearly one-third said they plan to travel more than 500 miles by car.
Bridgestone reminds drivers that tire safety is as simple as three words: inflate, rotate and evaluate:
- 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 tire inflation pressure helps maximize vehicle performance, avoid irregular tire wear and extend tire life. Drivers can find the correct tire inflation information for their vehicle in the vehicle owner's manual or on the tire information placard located in the driver side door panel.
- Rotate – Routine tire rotation helps prevent uneven tire wear and maximizes tire tread life. 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 their tires have enough tread to grip the road. All it takes to check tread depth is a penny. Turn the penny upside down and dip it into the tread. If Lincoln's head is fully visible, it's time for new tires.
Bridgestone also is taking advantage of tire safety week to remind truck drivers and fleet operators to be active in their tire management and maintenance, keeping in mind:
- Do not exceed a tire's maximum recommended speed, which may be lower than the posted speed limits.
- Select the right tire for the job, considering the proper tire size, load carrying capacity, speed capability and service type.
- Set and maintain proper cold inflation pressures.
- Inspect tires frequently for damage such as cuts, cracks, bulges, penetrations and insufficient tread depth.
- Monitor tire temperatures using a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), if available.
National Tire Safety Week is an annual initiative aimed at helping consumers learn the essential steps for proper tire care and maintenance. The initiative is led by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association and supported by its member companies, including Bridgestone Americas.