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Driving This Memorial Day? Fill Up the Tires When Loading Up the Car, Says Rubber Manufacturers Association


WASHINGTON, May 25 -- According to AAA, more than 30 million Americans will load up the car for the Memorial Day holiday weekend but tire industry research shows that one in three of those drivers may be at risk for tire trouble.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is urging motorists to check their tire pressure before heading out on a long driving trip this weekend. Thirty-three percent of U.S. motorists believe -- wrongly -- that tires should be a little under inflated when a vehicle is fully loaded. The same survey earlier this year found that only 15 percent of Americans correctly check their tire pressure.

Other statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 27 percent of cars and nearly one-third of SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks have at least one significantly under inflated tire. NHTSA also says that under inflated tires are a factor in 660 traffic fatalities each year.

“Filling up your car with passengers and cargo but not filling up your tires is a potentially dangerous proposition,” said Donald B. Shea, RMA president and CEO. “Motorists need to check their tire pressure every month and before long trips to maximize their safety.”

Vehicle manufacturers set the correct inflation pressure for every vehicle and put that information on a sticker that is usually found on the driver’s side door or door post and in the owner’s manual.

Tire makers stress that motorists should check the pressure monthly and when tires are cold -- before being driven even a mile, and inflate them to the recommended level. Properly inflated tires helps to maximize vehicle safety, gas mileage and tire longevity.

“Checking tire pressure takes just five minutes but if you’re unsure how to do it, reputable tire dealers across the nation will check and adjust your pressure for free at any time,” Shea said. “Now that we’ve begun the summer driving season and more families will be hitting the road for vacations, it’s critical that motorists make sure that their tires are properly inflated.”

RMA provides tire care and maintenance information through its “Be Tire Smart -- Play Your PART” program. For more information on tire care, visit

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