May 27, 2015 NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Bridgestone Survey Finds Nearly 90 Percent of Americans Take Summer Road Trips

For road-readiness, company offers three-step tire safety plan as part of National Tire Safety Week

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer, and with the Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) summer travel survey* indicating that 89 percent of Americans take summer road trips, the company urges drivers to check their tires to help ensure they are in proper shape before hitting the road. The reminder is part of the company’s ongoing driving safety campaign in support of National Tire Safety Week (May 24-30, 2015).

The highways should be busy this year with a six percentage point increase compared to last year in the number of Americans willing to take summer road trips, according to the April 2015 survey commissioned by Bridgestone and conducted online by Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. adults. Americans also say they are willing to drive 660 miles on average, which is 80 miles farther compared to 2014. More drivers on the road and longer trips can mean more opportunities for car trouble. This is an important issue, as Americans revealed that one of the worst things that can ruin a summer road trip is getting a flat tire (50 percent), second only to a fender bender (74 percent).

To help these travelers with vehicle preparations, Bridgestone is encouraging drivers to take advantage of free tire pressure checks, which currently are offered at all Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) stores: Firestone Complete Auto CareTires Plus and Wheel Works.

“With Americans willing to travel even farther this year than last year, it’s more important than ever to make sure tires are in good shape,” said Chris Welty, education specialist, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “National Tire Safety Week provides a timely reminder before drivers hit the road this summer. Proactive tire maintenance can help ensure a smooth and safe trip – so your vacation truly can start the minute you pull out of the driveway.”

In order to help keep tires road-ready, the company recommends three steps: inflate, rotate and evaluate.

  • Inflate: Tire pressure should be checked at least once each month, as well as before long trips or when carrying extra load, using a tire pressure gauge. Tires can lose one psi (pounds per square inch) per month under normal conditions.
  • Rotate: Regular tire rotations also will help prevent irregular and premature wear. Tires should be rotated and balanced according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations found in your vehicle owner's manual, or every 5,000 miles.
  • Evaluate: Routinely look for signs of tread wear or damage. Drivers should check tread depth to make sure their tires have enough traction to grip the road. Use a tread depth gauge or the “penny test.” Check by inserting a penny into each tread groove with Lincoln's head upside-down. If you can see all of Lincoln's head (including his hair), it's time to shop for a new set of tires.

Bridgestone also offers a series of tire care and service tips for commercial trucks on the road this summer. Commercial drivers always should refer to their vehicle placard to determine the proper tire size, load carrying capacity, speed capability and service type. In addition, it is important not to exceed the tires’ maximum recommended speed, which may be lower than the speed limits. Finally, inspecting tires for cracks, cuts, bulges and penetrations, as well as setting and maintaining proper cold inflation pressures are important steps to take when inspecting commercial tires.

For more information about National Tire Safety Week and tire care tips, visit www.tiresafety.com.

*Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Bridgestone from April 28-30, 2015 among 2,004 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Rachel Withers, withersrachel@bfusa.com.