Not enough Americans are taking care of their tires. A recent survey conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) revealed some startling statistics:
- "Only 17% of vehicles had four properly inflated tires.
- 55% of vehicles had at least one under-inflated tire.
- 15% of vehicles had at least one tire under-inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi).
- 20% of vehicles had at least one tire under-inflated by 6 psi.
- 31% of vehicles had at least one tire under-inflated by 4 psi."
Combined with these statistics are some important facts about the benefits of taking better care of your car’s tires:
- "Properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency by 3.3% and save $.09 a gallon at the pump. Approximately 1.2 billion gallons of fuel are wasted each year by U.S. motorists driving on under-inflated tires.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that under-inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year."
June 6-12 has been named National Tire Safety Week. So what are some things that you can do to help your tires save you money while keeping your family safer? Simply put, pay attention to your tires!
The RMA suggests the acronym "PART" to remember good tire maintenance:
- "Pressure – Under inflation results in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its inflation pressure and not appear to be flat!
- Alignment – A bad jolt from hitting a curb or pothole can throw your front end out of alignment and damage your tires. Have a tire dealer check the alignment periodically to ensure that your car is properly aligned.
- Rotation – Regularly rotating your vehicle’s tires will help you achieve more uniform wear. Unless your vehicle’s owners manual has a specific recommendation, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 5,000 miles.
- Tread – Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check your tires for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Also check for signs of damage."
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tire safety brochure, either PDF or HTML format
- Rubber Manufacturers Association Tire Maintenance & Safety webpage