FINDLAY, OH – August 23, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – A recent survey of U.S. mothers conducted by COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY (NYSE: CTB), in partnership with Cars.com and MotherProof.com, revealed that only one percent of moms consider maintaining their tires a priority when they think of “keeping their children safe.”
Whether transporting children to the grocery store or piano lessons, the only part of a vehicle touching the road are the tires and neglected tires can lead to serious consequences. Improperly maintained tires contribute to an estimated 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cooper Tire advises all drivers to conduct do-it-yourself maintenance checks that take less than 10 minutes a month to perform, to create a safer vehicle for precious cargo in-tow.
Put your coat on. Brush your teeth. Be careful, your face will freeze that way. Finish your homework. From Wally Cleaver and the soccer coach’s daughter, every child is familiar with these ‘mom-isms.’ In comparison, “Don’t forget to check the tires before we visit Grandma,” seems trivial. However, according to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, more than half of drivers do not know how to check tread depth and only 17 percent of vehicles on the road have four properly inflated tires – dangerous statistics considering the potential consequences of improperly maintained tires, including blow outs, longer stopping distances and less control when handling the vehicle.
In order to bring the importance of tire safety and maintenance to the forefront, Cooper Tire, Cars.com and MotherProof.com set out to uncover where exactly tire safety ranks among other parenting concerns, such as education, health and nutrition.
Mothers were asked to rank areas they pay the most attention to, regarding their children, and what proactive steps they take to benefit their families. Buying nutritious groceries ranked the highest, by more than 90 percent, with encouraging daily exercise, daily teeth brushing and non-required reading outside of school following behind. Although safety ranked highest as the category mothers pay the most attention to overall, beating out health, nutrition and education, less than one percent of responses reported automotive maintenance as a tactic to ensure their child’s safety, with zero responses mentioning tire safety. An alarming finding, especially as almost half of the mothers surveyed revealed spending more than four hours per week shuttling their kids around town.
Mothers are also considerably unfamiliar with how to conduct proper tire maintenance techniques. Nine out of 10 mothers do not regularly maintain their vehicles, leaving the duties to a male household member or professional. A quarter of the mothers surveyed do not know how to find their vehicle’s correct tire pressure, properly check tire pressure and tread depth, or change a tire.
Examine tread: the only piece of a vehicle to touch the road is the tires, making tire tread a key factor in handling, cornering, accelerating and braking.
- Tire tread depth should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep all around the tire and drivers can check this by using a U.S. penny. Insert the edge of the coin into the tread with Lincoln going in headfirst. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread that means there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread; if the top of his head is visible at any location on the tire, the tire is worn out and it’s time to replace it. For winter weather driving, the more tread depth, the better.
- While examining the tread, also look for signs of uneven wear or damage such as cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and bulges. These conditions shorten the life of tires and if not corrected, further tire damage or air loss may occur.
Test air pressure: tire pressure plays a critical role in the overall performance of tires as under-inflation creates excessive stress on the tire, while over-inflation can cause uneven wear in addition to handling and braking issues.
- Tire pressure decreases by about one pound per square inch for every 10-degree drop in outside air temperature.
- Drivers should follow the guidelines found in the vehicle owner’s manual or tire placard (or sticker) attached to the vehicle door edge to determine the correct tire and air pressure for their vehicle. A common myth is that the tire pressure listed on the sidewall is the optimal pressure, while in reality it is the maximum pressure.
- Air pressure should be checked when the tires are cool, meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile.
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper has joint ventures, affiliates and subsidiaries that also specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper’s headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies, located in 10 countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.
MotherProof.com, part of the Cars.com family, is a mom’s guide to life in the car that offers opinions and practical information about cars and car life, written from one savvy mom to another. At Cars.com, shoppers can find more information from consumers and experts to help formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With a wide-range of consumer tools, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
SOURCE: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company