Are you an “above average driver”? Most people say YES! How about your proficiency with a simple car maintenance task like checking your tire pressure? It should be a quick, simple procedure for optimizing your vehicle’s overall safety…increasing fuel economy and helping your tires last longer. This recent national survey discovered that only about 17 percent of U.S. drivers have the “tire smarts” for checking tire pressure effectively.
The reality is…there are some very real differences between men & women… as well as between younger vs. older drivers. Men are more likely to have a higher “tire IQ,” according to the survey. 20 percent of men vs 14 percent of women are considered to be adequately proficient at checking tire pressure monthly and checking tires when they are cold (before driving). But kinda like stopping to ask for directions…women are better than men at knowing where to find the correct tire pressure for their vehicle. No, not the local service station attendant…but right on the driver side doorjamb or door…and in the owner’s manual.
But the generation gap is even greater than the gender gap. Twenty-seven percent of drivers aged 60 and over are proficient at “properly checking tire pressure”…while only 8 percent of drivers 18 to 39 know the basic skill .
Here are 5 handy tips for jacking up your tire IQ:
Safety Risk – Under-inflated tires pose a safety risk, waste fuel and cause premature tire wear. 11 cents a gallon…at today’s gas prices is what the U.S. Department of Energy states that properly inflated tires can save consumers.
Pressure – Regular monthly tire pressure checks is key. Just use your own tire gauge…then inflate to your vehicle’s manufacturer recommended pressure.
Alignment – Misalignment of wheels can cause uneven and rapid tread wear.
Rotation – Rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to help you achieve more uniform wear.
Tread – Advanced & unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions.
National Tire Safety Week (June 1-7 for 2014) and the tire industry’s “Be Tire Smart – Play Your Part” program is a Rubber Manufacturers Association and tire manufacturer members consumer education effort…aimed at helping drivers understand the simple steps they can take to ensure that their tires are in good working condition. Download their free handy brochure for more safety tips.