Americans are now choosing to go for summer travel using their own cars. This is after seeing the effects of COVID-19 across the country. The National Tire Safety Week comes at an important time this season. The program is operated by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and aims at educating drivers about tire maintenance.
For this season, Cooper Tire is partnering with Loni Unser to help educate consumers on how they can stay safe and maintain their tires this season. Unser is a 22-year old race car driver and the most recent member of the Unser auto racing dynasty.
She will be part of multiple television and radio interviews run by the Indy 500 race’s site Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The interviews will focus on three crucial safety checks that consumers should perform on their tires every month or before hitting the road for long trips.
The checks include:
1. Tire inflation pressure
Every vehicle has an ideal tire pressure that should be maintained on all tires, including the spare tire. Use a pressure gauge to check that this is achieved across all tires on your vehicle. The right amount of air allows tires to perform as they should, wear out evenly, and last longer. It also allows for better control when driving the car. To identify the right tire pressure for your tires, check your car’s user manual or look for a sticker inside your fuel door, glove box, or car door containing the information.
2. Inspect the tread depth
You can use the penny test to check your tires’ tread depth. Insert a penny between the grooves of the tire with Lincoln’s head directed downwards but facing you. If you can see the top of his head, you need to replace your tire. Proper depth in your treads improves handling, prevents hydroplaning, and maintains traction.
3. Check overall tire condition
Inspect your tires to ensure they do not have bulges, punctures, cracks, or cuts. Check for any objects that may be lodged within the tread. If you notice that your tires have serious damage, it may be time to replace them.
“As a professional race car driver I know that the tires on my vehicle are what’s connecting me to the road, so tire safety is top of mind,” said Unser. “But, tire safety isn’t just for the race track. It’s important for everyday drivers to know how to properly maintain their tires, and perform those checks often.”
A study that was recently carried out by Cooper Tire shows that 44% of Americans are taking more road trips this season due to COVID-19. In addition, the study also discovered that the average American has already taken two road trips this season and is planning to take another two in the future. 58% of those surveyed said that they were planning to take more road trips in the future. The pandemic has seen an increase in the use of road trips as alternative transportation to flying. This makes this period one of the most crucial to educate people on tire safety.
According to Anne Roman, Vice President Communications & Public Affairs, tires are one of the most overlooked parts of a car. However, when planning for road trips, they should be well-checked to maximize safety. “At Cooper, we design and manufacture great, high-quality Cooper tires, and we are committed to educating drivers about the easy checks they can perform to help maintain their tires,” said Anne. “National Tire Safety Week provides an excellent opportunity to bring this topic to the forefront.”