National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show
that approximately one in every three vehicles has a significantly
under-inflated tire, and that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur
every year as a result of low-tire pressure-related crashes.
AAA reports that each year they receive about 4 million roadside
assistance calls due to tire-related incidents. Not surprisingly, a 2006
Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) survey found that more than 80
percent of drivers do not know how to properly check their tire
pressure. According to the Department of Energy, properly inflated tires
can also improve gas mileage by around 3.3 percent and save 9 cents per
gallon at the gas pump.
An RMA nationwide survey conducted in February reported that only
19 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure.
Properly checking tires means checking at least once a month before
tires have been driven and inflating them to the vehicle manufacturer’s
recommended pressure, not the pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
About 28 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check
their tires is when they are warm, after being driven at least a few
miles. Less than half of drivers know where to find the correct tire
pressure, which is on a sticker in their vehicle that is usually found
on the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. Also, 53 percent wrongly
believe that the correct pressure is found on the tire sidewall.
Approximately 73 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in
their spare tire.