America Needs Inflation

Under Inflated Tires Increase Safety Risks, Waste Gasoline

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.June 4, 2012 - The verdict is in: America needs inflation – for tires.

A survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the national trade association for tire manufacturers, show only about one in six vehicles have four properly inflated tires and only 15 percent of drivers know how to properly check tire pressure. Under inflated tires are a safety risk, waste gasoline and cause tires to wear out faster.

This week marks the 11th annual National Tire Safety Week (June 3-9), an RMA initiative dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of tire care.

Properly inflated tires helps to optimize vehicle safety and fuel economy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that under inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that under inflated tires wastes more than 1 billion gallons of gasoline annually.

“America needs inflation,” said RMA President and CEO Charles Cannon. “In just five minutes every month, motorists can ensure that their tires are properly inflated which promotes safety, better fuel economy and helps prevent premature wear.”

A phone survey of 1,000 U.S. drivers, sponsored by RMA, paints a bleak picture of Americans’ tire care knowledge and practices.

  • 62% of drivers don’t know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle’s tires
  • 43% of drivers don’t know that tires should be checked “cold” – before driving, rather than after driving
  • 60% of drivers wash their cars once a month, only 15% properly check tire pressure once a month
  • 20% of men surveyed vs. 9% of women are “tire smart”

Another RMA-sponsored survey of more than 6,000 vehicles found:

  • 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).

Solving America’s inflation problem is easy, according to RMA, and only takes five minutes every month. To properly check tire pressure RMA recommends that motorists:

  • Check tire pressure monthly and before long trips.
  • Use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. This information is found on a label on the driver’s side door post or motorists can check their owner’s manual.
  • Check tires when cold, before driving. Otherwise, tires become warm when driven which increases tire pressure.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.