The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched TireWise, a consumer education campaign about choosing and caring for tires.
NHTSA estimates there are roughly 200 fatalities as a result of tire related crashes and approximately 11,000 tire-related crashes every year. With the new campaign, safety is a top priority.
“This campaign will help consumers make more informed choices every step of the way when it comes to choosing and caring for their tires – keeping them safer and saving them money at the same time,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The Tire Industry Association said its been eagerly anticipating the release of consumer tire information since the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 mandated one and reached out to partner several times during the past seven years. Despite the attempt to help, information from the site was not shared with the industry during the campaigns developmental stage, TIA said.
“While TIA is encouraged by the launch of the new TireWise program on NHTSA’s website safercar.gov, we are disappointed that most of the information was not shared with the industry during the development stage,” said Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA.
“Specifically, TIA remains concerned about the data regarding tire-related crashes and the resulting fatalities. Without further explanation or clarification, it suggests that tires are inherently dangerous even though the agency’s own crash data indicated that insufficient tread depth, improper inflation pressure, and previous damage were the leading causes of tire-related factors in the pre-crash phase. We are disappointed that NHTSA basically ignored our concerns and proceeded with the release of incomplete and unclear information after seven years of development.”
Littlefield said that rather than focusing on the negative, the association will reach out to NHTSA with suggestions on how the TireWise campaign can be improved. He noted that there is a significant amount of valuable information for consumers on the website and the association does not want to discourage its members from taking advantage of the retailer tools or promoting the program to customers.
“We believe it is our duty to identify the inconsistencies with hopes that NHTSA will listen to our concerns so we can fully endorse TireWise and the safercar.gov website,” Littlefield said. “’Tire Safety Starts Here’ is more than just a phrase under our logo. It is the guiding principle for every effort that TIA makes to promote proper tire service, care and maintenance. We remain hopeful that NHTSA will recognize that our intentions are to provide the industry and consumers with information that has a positive impact on tire safety. While TireWise represents a good start towards that goal, TIA believes it can potentially create more questions than it answers as it currently stands.”
Information for the TireWise campaign will be featured on SaferCar.gov in an effort to reach as many consumers online as possible.
The TireWise site features tire buying tips, information on checking tire pressure and tread wear as well as information on tire aging, the effect of high temperatures on tires and how to replace tires.
The site also features a retailers tab with materials for shops to use in stores. The section includes a “Life as a Tire” video that can be played while tires are being installed. There is also a “Congratulations on Your New Tire Purchase” form that retailers can fill out with customers providing information on tire care as well as registration for notification of recalls.
NHTSA plans to have a SaferCar mobile app later this year that allows users to sign up for tire recall alerts and submit complaints over their mobile devices.
To check out the new TireWise campaign online visit www.safercar.gov/tires.