Tire pressure is crucial for car safety and fuel economy

Perhaps you’ve heard the great debate about tire pressure and how that alone could help Americans save hundreds of millions of gallons of fuel? In fact, it became part of the presidential campaign in 2008 when Senator Obama told Americans that if you want to save fuel, the first thing to do is keep your tires fully inflated. As fun as it sounds, you have a good point, it’s about the easiest and simplest thing you can do to save fuel.

So, you ask, how far has tire pressure monitoring advanced recently? Well, it’s making significant strides in the transportation industries for a variety of reasons; fuel cost reduction, safety and insurance savings, regulations stemming from the Firestone matter several years ago regarding Ford Explorer rollover accidents. Now, in the SUV market, we see that significant progress has been made in operating manuals for all vehicles, mainly thanks to lobbying by consumer groups.

DOT has also looked at these issues for passenger cars, and the tire industry has had mixed feelings for a variety of reasons, including the need to decrease lawsuits and restore confidence in auto safety standards. The DOT has often stated that the best thing to do is to educate consumers about tire pressure. Perhaps Obama’s comments could be an extension of all these themes?

Is simply filling your tires going to solve the gas crisis?

No, but it is a start to improving car safety and will actually save fuel for those who find they are wasting many gallons of gas each week on flat tires. On average, because the 4 tires have 12 pounds of pressure inflated; maybe 6 at one time, 4 at another, and 2 at another. Every tire that is not inflated increases the chance of an accident and is a lot like flushing money down the toilet. Think about this.

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