Under-inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, low tire pressure can cost motorists up to 9 cents a gallon at the gas pump. Under-inflated tires cause a vehicle to work harder and burn more gas.
The RMA survey of more than 6,300 vehicles in 33 cities this year also found only 17 percent of vehicles had four properly inflated tires. More than 15 percent, representing 38 million vehicles on U.S. roads, had at least one tire under inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi).
The cities that performed worst in the RMA tire pressure survey – in descending order – were Dallas/Ft.Worth, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Antonio and Birmingham. These cities had low percentages of vehicles with four properly inflated tires and larger percentages of under inflated tires.
“Under-inflated tires are dangerous, waste fuel and money and cause tires to wear out faster,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Motorists can help reduce the safety risk and stop wasting gas and money by taking 5 minutes to check tire pressure every month.”
The Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers, has some simple tips to check tire pressure properly:
- Check tire pressure every month and before long trips - and don't forget the spare!
- Remember to check tires before driving - when tires are cold - to get an accurate reading.
- Use the correct tire inflation pressure, which can be found on a label on the driver's door or check the owner's manual. Don't look at the tire sidewall, which has the maximum pressure for the tire.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products.