Quick, how many pounds of air are supposed to be in the tires on your car? If that information isn't at the top of your mind, you aren't alone.
A survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tire manufacturers, shows only about one in six vehicles have four properly inflated tires and only 15 percent of drivers know how to properly check tire pressure.
Why is that an issue? Under-inflated tires are a safety risk, causing tires to wear out faster. They also waste gasoline.
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."
Tire pressure tips
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 and the reading is not accurate.
A phone survey of 1,000 U.S. drivers, sponsored by RMA, found that 62 percent of drivers don't know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle's tires and 43 percent don't know that tires should be checked "cold," before driving.
The survey found that, while 60 percent of motorists wash their vehicles once a month, only 15 percent check tire pressure that often.