The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that under inflated tires contribute to 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year.
Unfortunately, 85 percent of American drivers fail to properly check tire pressure, according to a motorist survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association. On the bright side, promoting healthy tires is simple and only takes five minutes each month. The key prescription: check the air pressure with a tire gauge.
Make sure that you check tires when they are cold -- before driving even a mile. This will ensure an accurate reading since tire temperature increases while driving and that causes tire pressure to rise.
Next, use the correct tire pressure for your vehicle. Nearly 45 percent of drivers do not know where to find the correct tire pressure for their car. Hint: don’t look on the tire! The pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum pressure for the tire. Find a label on the driver’s door or check the owner’s manual. Vehicle manufacturers establish the recommended inflation pressure.
Finally, don’t forget to check the spare. Seventy percent of drivers never check the inflation pressure in the spare tire. Getting a flat tire is bad enough. A flat spare tire when you need it most just adds insult to injury.
To learn more about proper tire care and how to Be Tire Smart, visit www.betiresmart.org.