GREENVILLE, S.C. - One penny could send you to college.
Michelin is giving away a whopping $100,000 to cover the college tuition costs of one U.S. college-bound teen.
The “Penny for a Free Ride” contest aims to improve tire safety education to make the road a safer place for everyone — especially teens.To enter, college-bound teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 21 must perform the “penny tread test” or check their tire pressure, and share it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the tags @MichelinUSA and #PennyForAFreeRide. Entries can also be submitted through an online form.
The “penny tread test” can determine tire tread depth and whether or not the driver should look into changing their tires. All one needs to do is insert a penny into the groove of a tire with Lincoln’s head upside down. If all of Lincoln’s head is still visible, it’s time to consider a tire change.
The number-one killer of teens in the U.S. is automobile accidents. Out of approximately 2.2 million car crashes in the U.S. each year which involve teens, about 300,000 are related to tire issues, such as worn treads, according to an analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Michelin hopes that the “Penny for a Free Ride” challenge can help reduce such accidents by getting teens familiar with the importance of car maintenance, and especially tire maintenance.
According to Michelin, 75 percent of teens say they let others take responsibility for maintenance of their vehicle, 42 percent of teens in seven key U.S. cities are driving with insufficient tire tread and 40 percent of teens are driving with insufficient tire pressure.
“The statistics are startling — we need to do everything we can to keep our teen drivers safe,” said Alexis Garcin, chairman and president of Michelin North America, Inc. “At Michelin, we know that tires need pressure, not teens. Our goal is to encourage teens to take life-saving action that helps them secure a safe future.”
To keep your vehicle functioning safely, Michelin suggests checking tire tread, tire pressure, brake lights, wipers and fluids at least once a month.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.