Week 7: Tread Wisely

National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company have joined forces to educate teens on the importance of tire safety. Tires are the only thing connecting your car to the road. Tread Wisely shows us how an easy three-step monthly tire safety check can help you make sure your tires are in peak working condition. Guess what else? Making sure your tires have sufficient tread, the correct air pressure, and are in good overall condition, will help you save money at the gas pump. Who doesn’t need to save money?

Think about this:

  • Driving your car with even one tire that is under inflated by just 8 PSI can reduce the life of the tire by 9,000 miles and increase your fuel consumption by 4%.
  • Running a tire under inflated is like running your engine without enough oil or coolant. Things might seem fine for a while, but serious, permanent damage can occur.
  • Many teens and young adults don’t consider the condition of the tires when shopping for a used car. If the car needs new tires, that’s gonna cost you. Be a savvy negotiator.
  • Rotate your tires every 5,000 – 8,000 miles if you have all-season tires or a front-wheel drive vehicle. If your tires are new or newer and you see early signs of uneven wear, see a professional tire dealer.

The Tire Safety Check



  • Better control for the vehicle
  • Improves fuel consumption
  • Helps prevent uneven wear


  1. Be sure to check air pressure when tires are cool (minimum three hours after driving)
  2. Find manufacturer’s recommended air pressure located on the vehicle door jamb, glove box, fuel door or the owner’s manual
    NOTE: Tire pressure listed on tire sidewall is maximum pressure, not recommended pressure
  3. Remove valve cap
  4. Take the tire gauge and press firmly on valve stem
  5. If the reading is lower than the recommended level, add air and check again
  6. Over inflated? Push on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen to release air, and check again
  7. Once recommended pressure is reached, replace valve cap


  • Proper tread depth helps tires maintain traction and improves handling
  • Helps prevent hydroplaning, which is when your car slides on a thin sheet of water


Insert the edge of a U.S. penny in the tire tread, with Lincoln’s head down

  1. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread
  2. If the top of his head is visible at any point, it is time to replace the tire

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  • Damaged tires can shorten tire life and cause tire failure or air loss


Visually check for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, and bulges.

  • If any of these conditions are spotted, or if you are doubtful about the condition of your tires, visit a dealer for a professional inspection


Play Video

Download the brochure

Learn the 3 Basic Steps of Tire Safety! Learn all about it at TreadWisely.org.

Qualify to win $500 for your school or student club, just by hosting the Tread Wisely Tire Safety Challenge!

The Tread Wisely Challenge is designed to educate, empower, and mobilize teens and young adults to adopt tire safety. Schools or student groups who successfully complete the challenge according to the specified rules are entered to win one of 50 (fifty) $500 cash prizes. Learn more and register for the Tread Wisely Tire Safety Challenge.

The Tread Wisely App

Want to show off your Tread Wisely skills? Download the Tread Wisely app, available free for your Apple or Android device. Watch videos on everything from changing a tire to checking your tread depth; take quizzes to earn prizes; and impress other people with how much you know about tires!

Week 7 Prizes:

  • One (1) $25.00 Staples gift card to the first name drawn at random
  • One (1) user license to download teenSMART to the second name drawn at random
    teenSMART is the most proven and effective driver crash reduction program ever developed, teenSMART is endorsed by more insurance companies that provide valuable premium discounts for teenSMART drivers. Value: $119.95