AKRON, Ohio, May 20, 2009 – Although miles driven have been declining in the past year, the nation’s most well-known automotive travel authority predicts a higher number of drivers during this Memorial Day holiday weekend.


And the best-known American tire company predicts that many of those travelers will simply jump into their vehicles and drive, unaware of the condition of the only part of their cars that comes in contact with the road – the tires.


Officials from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company urge motorists to take a few minutes to inspect their tires, or to visit a local tire and service outlet for a check-up.  This advice comes at the outset of the holiday weekend in which AAA (American Automobile Association) estimates that larger numbers of Americans – 32.4 million, versus 31.9 million a year ago – will travel 50 miles or more from home.  This represents a 1.5 percent increase from last year.


AAA says 83 percent of those holiday travelers are expected to go by car, truck or van.  With Memorial Day considered the beginning of the summer travel season, this rise in expected driving is accompanied by gas prices that are averaging about 28 cents per gallon more this week, as compared to average pump prices just a month ago.


According to Goodyear, an increase in the price of gas is even more incentive to check tire condition and air pressure before heading off on any vacation journeys.


According to Gary Medalis, Goodyear general manager, passenger car tires, “Underinflated tires can increase fuel consumption, costing motorists extra miles per gallon.  In addition, they should avoid severely under- or overinflated tires, or those with insufficient tread depth or structural damage.”


The U.S. Department of Energy has reported that every pound per square inch of tire underinflation wastes 4 million gallons of gas daily in the U.S. 


At today’s prices and with millions of vehicles on the road, that is a huge expense, according to Medalis.


“An underinflated tire doesn’t roll as smoothly or as easily as it was intended, so it uses more energy, robbing the vehicle of fuel efficiency.  If motorists understood this, they might realize why tire maintenance is so important,” he said.


A new tire from Goodyear – the Assurance Fuel Max – helps drivers save gas and spend less money getting to their destination. A breakthrough fuel-saving tread compound helps save 2,600 miles worth of gas over the life of a set of tires.*


In addition to offering the Assurance Fuel Max line of tires, many Goodyear retailers distribute tire care brochures, and offer free tire inflation and tread inspections. Easy-to-find maintenance advice is offered at www.goodyeartires.com.


Medalis reminds motorists that tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation printed on a vehicle’s door placard or in the owner’s manual, not the maximum limit stamped on a tire sidewall.  The inflation pressure of tires should be checked at least monthly and before any long trips.


Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 71,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 60 facilities in 25 countries around the world.  For more information about Goodyear tires, visit www.goodyeartires.com


* 2,600 miles based on a 4% fuel economy improvement, on 65,000 Mile Tread Life Limited Warranty, as compared to the standard Goodyear Assurance tire tested on P195/65R15 size – 2008 Honda Civic. Actual results may vary based on when tires are replaced, driving and road conditions, and proper tire maintenance.