WASHINGTON — About half of all drivers could use some help figuring out some key tire safety indicators, according to a new survey conducted by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association and Discount Tire.
Some 48% of all drivers do not know when they need to check their tire pressure, and 53% do not know how to check treads to determine if tires show signs of damage and need to be replaced, the USTMA said.
"The pandemic brought fundamental changes to American life, including our ability to travel to be with friends and family. As growing numbers of Americans are vaccinated and eager to take that long summer road trip again this year, USTMA's members and partners are reemphasizing the importance of tire safety," USTMA CEO Anne Forristall Luke said.
"During National Tire Safety Week 2021 we are reminding drivers to check their tires and perform simple but important maintenance practices before getting behind the wheel," she said.
The new survey, conducted in conjunction with Discount Tire and polling firm Ipsos, also shows 53% of drivers do not know when to rotate their tires.
A total of 94% of respondents indicated they realize proper tire inflation saves money, the USTMA said. Most, however, do not know how much they can save.
About a third of those taking part in the poll, 34%, correctly identified the annual savings at $65, or about two tanks of gasoline.
The theme for National Tire Safety Week, which runs through July 4, is "Do Your P.A.R.T., Know Your Roll." P.A.R.T. stands for pressure, alignment, rotation and tread.
The theme, the USTMA said, "is designed to educate consumers about the importance of proper tire care and maintenance."
This is particularly key as many people are back on the road this summer as the impact of COVID-19 continues to lessen in many parts of the country. Summer travel is expected to be much higher this year and 73% of drivers indicated they plan to take a trip this summer.
Drivers should check their tire pressure at least once monthly, but 70% of drivers indicated they had not checked in the previous 30 days, the USTMA said.
The USTMA represents 13 companies operating 57 tire-related factories in 17 states.
The survey polled 1,431 American drivers at least 18 years old.