WASHINGTON (June 4, 2010)—Honolulu; Baltimore; Boston; Providence, R.I.; and Charlotte, N.C., are the five U.S. cities where motorists are most likely to have four properly inflated tires, the Rubber Manufacturers Association said in a press release leading up to the ninth annual National Tire Safety Week June 6-12.
But Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Antonio and Birmingham fared worst among tire care knowledge among more than 30 cities surveyed by the RMA and several tire retailers.
In its 2010 national tire safety survey, the RMA also found that 17 percent of vehicles have four properly inflated tires. Fifty-five percent of vehicles had at least one underinflated tire, the association said, and 15 percent of vehicles had at least one tire underinflated by 8 psi or more.
Underinflated tires in the U.S. contribute to more than 600 highway fatalities and 33,000 injuries every year, while also wasting 1.2 billion gallons of fuel, the RMA said. Although tire pressure monitoring systems are now the law on new vehicles, the TPMS warning only comes on after a tire is 25-percent underinflated, making it clear that TPMS is no substitute for motorists checking their own tires for proper pressure, the association said.
Last year more than 20,000 tire and service outlets participated in National Tire Safety Week, distributing the RMA's “Be Tire Smart—Play Your PART” tire safety and maintenance brochures and offering free tire pressure checks. The RMA's public service announcements on tire safety aired more than 22,000 times in 2009, the association said.