According to a new driver-study from the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, Canadian drivers have glaring gaps in their knowledge about how to maintain proper tire inflation. With today’s rising gas prices these knowledge gaps can be costly.
The average motorist can improve their gas mileage by 0.6 per cent on average – up to 3 per cent in some cases – simply by keeping their tires inflated to the proper pressure.
While nine-in-ten drivers surveyed believe motorists have a responsibility to make their vehicles as fuel efficient as possible and 96 per cent say proper tire inflation is important, the survey also finds:
- Only 30 per cent measure their tires’ inflation pressures monthly, a practice essential to fuel economy, road safety and protecting the environment
- 65 per cent are unaware inflation pressures should only be measured when tires are cold. (A vehicle should be stationary for at least three hours or not have been driven more than two kilometers prior to checking tire inflation. Measuring pressures when tires are warm gives an inaccurate reading.)
- 37 per cent refer to the air pressure stamped on the tire’s sidewall when identifying the correct pressure for their tires. (The imprinted sidewall pressure is the maximum pressure a tire can contain under maximum load, not the recommended inflation level. Prolonged driving at this inflation pressure may result in uneven tread wear and reduced traction, particularly on wet surfaces.)
- 22 per cent rely on visual inspections to determine if their tires are inflated properly. (A tire can be underinflated by 20 per cent or more and look normal.)
Among motorists who say proper tire inflation is important to them, top reasons cited include: vehicle safety (84 per cent) followed by longer tire life (74 per cent), fuel economy (73 per cent) and improved vehicle handling (71 per cent).
Other positive news emerging from the study is that 61 per cent of drivers use a personal air pressure gauge when measuring tire pressures. As well, 86 per cent report they rotated their tires in the past year and 66 per cent had their vehicle’s tire alignment checked in the past 12 months.
That’s why during Be Tire Smart Week, we’re educating Canadian motorists about the steps they can take to reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles.
To help motorists improve their fuel-saving know-how, TRAC is providing an informative ‘Get Fuel Fit’ Guide – a free, online informative resource to help you build better fuel fitness habits through easy-to-adopt shopping, maintenance and driving tips.
If you find the Get Fuel Fit Guide helpful, be sure to spread the word. You can follow the conversation on social media by following Be Tire Smart and checking out the hashtags: #BeTireSmart and #FuelFit.
To learn more about how to save gas by rolling on Low Rolling Resistance tires visit What you Need to Know About the Latest Fuel Saving Tire Technology.