Improperly inflated tires contribute to more than 600 traffic fatalities and 33,000 injuries every year
How often do you check the air pressure in your vehicle's tires?
It's a precaution that most of us probably don't think about often, but regularly checking to make sure that your tires are properly inflated could save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
A recent report from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tire manufacturers, reveals that only one in six vehicles on the road today has properly inflated tires. Even more surprising, only 15 percent of drivers know how to correctly check their tire pressure.
Under-inflated tires are not only an extreme safety risk due to improper wear and loss of traction, but they also wear out much faster and can significantly lessen the miles per gallon (mpg) you get from a tank of gas.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), improperly inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries annually in the United States. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that under-inflated tires waste more than 1 billion gallons of gasoline every year.
So what can you do?
Take just five minutes at least once a month to check your tires and make sure that they are properly inflated. Many gas and service stations have an air compressor that you can use for free if you don't have one at home, and a suitable tire pressure gauge can cost as little at $1.
Ideally, your tires should be cold when checking air pressure to ensure accuracy, which generally means the car has been sitting for eight hours or more. You can find the ideal pressure for your tires printed on the sticker on the inside panel of your driver's side door.
Five minutes and $1 is certainly a minimal investment that could not only save you money, but protect the lives of your passengers and fellow drivers.
For more information and a step-by-step guide on how to properly check pressure and inflate your tires, check out this great tire pressure tutorial from Edmunds.com.