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Beyond the Driving Test

ONLY 38% of parents consider themselves to be extremely knowledgeable about tire maintenance.

Automobile accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens in the U.S., with more than 2,600 deaths each year. What's more, of the 2.2 million accidents per year among inexperienced drivers, 12% can be attributed to tire-related issues, such as insufficient tread or pressure. Even so, few driver's education programs offer instruction of tire maintenance and tire safety.

Automobile accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens in America.

2,614
[1]Teen Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes in 2013
1,000,000
[2]Teen Drivers Were Involved in Crashes in 2013
[3]Of Crashes Among Inexperienced Drivers are Tire Related

Have the Conversation About Safety

When it comes to road safety, you can't control the other drivers or road conditions, but one thing you can control is proper maintenance of your vehicle and tires. Here are some things to go over with your teen drivers. 

  1. Monthly Tire Inspection
  2. Check the Tire Tread
  3. Check the Tire Pressure
  4. Check the Oil
  5. Change Window Wiper Blades
  6. Check the Brake Lights

Simple Steps Can Save Lives

When it comes to road safety, you can't control the other drivers or road conditions, but one thing you can control is proper maintenance of your vehicle and tires. To help you remember what to check and when, Michelin and FIA have put together five simple tips to help you stay safe on the road.

CHECK THESE FIVE THINGS AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH:

Do I Need New Tires?

It's important to choose the right tires and to keep them in good condition. Find the answers here to all your tire maintenance questions.

How Long Does A Tire Last?
Seasons/Seasonality
Performance Upgrade
Tire Emergencies

What Are The Basics?

There is no way to tell exactly how long a tire lasts. The lifespan and mileage of a tire depends on a combination of factors from its design to the driver’s habits.

Milestones And Tips:

1. Keep five years in mind
2. Ten years is a maximum
3. Proper care expands a tire's lifespan

More Details
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All-Season, Summer, Winter Tires: What Is The Difference?

To make sure that you are always safe, your tires need to be adapted to your current weather conditions.

  1. All-season
  2. Summer
  3. Winter
  4. All-terrain
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High Performance Tires

Can I use a high performance tire if my vehicle doesn't require one?

For a sportier look and feel, you can choose to upgrade your tires. 

Fuel consumption: how does upgrading impact it?

High performance tires are designed to provide more grip and thus lower fuel efficiency. 

More Details
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My Tire Is Low, What Should I Do?

A tire is low (or underinflated) when it doesn’t have sufficient air pressure to meet the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended PSI. Underinflated tires lead to flats and tire blowouts.

More Details
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Videos and Resources

Downloads to Keep Your Teen Safe
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The State of Tire Education
What teen drivers need to know beyond the driving test.

Download
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Road Readiness: Glove Box Guide
A handy car and tire safety tip sheet to keep in teen's cars.

Download
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Sharing the Road: Advice on Safe Driving
Encouraging safe driving behaviors and sharing advice with young drivers can help decrease car accidents.

Download

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need New Tires?

Do driving habits affect the life of my tires?
Yes. Here are several tips to help increase the life of your tires: Don’t speed. High speeds can generate excessive heat, which can increase the rate of tire wear. Drive the safe, legal speed limit. Avoid fast turns on curves and around corners. Avoid fast starts and panic stops. Don’t ride on the edge of the pavement or drive over curbs, potholes, or other obstructions.
What should I look for when inspecting my tires?
In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tires. Regular inspections can help you prevent tire trouble, and keep you rolling safely down the road. When inspecting your tires, look for: Uneven tread wear : This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear, or exposed steel wire. Uneven wear can be caused by problems such as underinflation, misalignment and improper balancing. Shallow tread : Bald tires tend to skid and slide on the pavement, and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. The tread on your tire should be at least 2/32 of an inch deep. If it isn’t, the tire must be replaced. To help you see tread problems, tires have built-in “tread wear indicators.” These are narrow bars of smooth rubber that run across the tread: When the tread is even with the bars, it is worn down to the minimum level and must be replaced immediately. You can also perform a simple test using a US penny. Put the edge of the coin into the tread, with Lincoln going in head first. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, that’s good. If the top of his head is entirely visible, it’s time to replace the tire.
How do you know how old your tires are?
Each tire has a required Department of Transportation (DOT) number imprinted on at least one of its sidewalls. That number begins with the letters "DOT" and may contain up to 12 additional numbers and letters. The first and last digits are the most important: The first two letters or numbers identify the tire’s manufacturer and plant code. Prior to the year 2000, the last 3 digits of a DOT number represented the week (2 digits) and the year (1 digit) of production. So if the last three digits are 439, the tire was produced in the 43rd week of 1999. Tires produced after January 1, 2000, have a 4-digit date code at the end of the DOT number. The first 2 digits represent the week of production and the last 2 digits represent the last 2 digits of the year of production. So, 3500 indicates the tire was produced in the 35th week of the year 2000.
When should worn tires be replaced?
Worn tires should be replaced by trained personnel when 2/32nds of an inch of tread depth remains, as indicated by tread wear indicators molded into the tread grooves. Use of worn out tires [less than 2/32nds inch (1.6 mm) remaining of tire tread depth] increases the probability of tire failure, and in wet conditions can cause the tire to lose traction suddenly. In most states, it is illegal to drive with less than 2/32nds of an inch of remaining tread depth.
Can I mix tire types on my car?
For best all-around performance, the same type tire should be used on all four-wheel positions. Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear may affect vehicle handling and stability. NOTE: Some vehicles are intentionally fitted with different size tires on front and rear.

Beyond the Driving Test Campaign

What is the aim of Michelin's new initiative?
Automobile accidents are the number one killer of teens in America. We believe that with more comprehensive driver’s education, especially around tire safety education, we can reduce the chances of teen car crashes. That is why Michelin and FIA are launching an effort to transform the way we prepare new drivers, including mobilizing parental involvement, encouraging peer education and working state-by-state to update driver's education curricula.
Why is Michelin doing this now?
We’ve partnered with the FIA to help them achieve their mission of saving the lives of five million people on the world’s roads by the end of the decade. While considering areas to make a maximum impact, we realized that there was a real opportunity to look at driver’s education in the U.S. To address the safety gap in the current U.S. driver’s education curriculum, Michelin and FIA are launching an effort to transform the way we prepare new drivers, including mobilizing parental involvement, encouraging peer education and working to update the state-by-state Department of Motor Vehicles education curricula.
What specific steps is Michelin taking to address this issue?
We are taking a three-pronged approach. First, we are calling for all 50 states to include comprehensive tire safety information in driver’s education materials and programs by 2020, and we’re offering to help them develop the materials to ensure they have the best, up-to-date information as it pertains to proper tire safety and maintenance. Second, we are supporting teen-to-teen education, sponsoring a series featuring well-known teen YouTube celebrities with large teen audiences and going into high schools across the country to teach tire safety lessons. Finally, we will be actively working to build relationships with key road safety stakeholders and influencers like ADTSEA, AAMVA, GHSA, etc.
What evidence do you have that teens need this tire education? Do you have data that shows that teens are dying on the roads because they lack tire education?
While we don’t have data that shows the number of deaths, according to a NHTSA study conducted in 2012, 9% of the more than 2 million recorded crashes experienced tire problems before the accident. That number increased to 12% with inexperienced drivers behind the wheel. In addition, 26% of these tire related crashes were due to low tread depth while 32% had improper tire pressure. It is not much of a leap to realize that had these drivers been better aware of the condition of their tires, they may have avoided these crashes.