Tire Safety and Efficiency Gets Government Attention

Last week the White House announced a program designed to have people buy tires that will enable cars to get better gas mileage. The program will also look to have people take better care of their tires to reduce the number of tire-related accidents.

The tires that are being promoted are called “low rolling resistance tires.” This type of tire costs more initially but the increase in fuel economy people gain from buying them is supposed to save more money at the gasoline pump.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that if only 10 percent of the tires people buy each year were the low rolling resistance versions, U.S. consumers would save over $200 million in fuels costs. Another benefit of using less fuel is that air pollution would also be reduced by 690,000 tons of carbon.

The program still needs to undergo a formal “rule-making” step which is hoped to be completed by 2017.

The White House plans to focus public attention on tire safety during the next month by working with tire manufacturers, retailers as well as oil and gas businesses. They hope to spread the word how tire inflation (the amount of air in your tires), tire balance, alignment, and tire rotation can all work together to help prevent automotive accidents. Approximately 11,000 crashes each year are attributed to tire problems.

To assist with the program, companies like Bridgestone Americas will offer free tire inspections, and
Goodyear will provide free inflation pressure services to help reduce the number of annual accidents.

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