Under-inflation, meaning inadequate tire pressure, increases wear and tear to a car’s tires, especially in summertime heat. Here are some of the costs of riding on under-inflated tires, at any time during the year:
1. A Set of New Tires. Driving on under-inflated tires may decrease the lifetime of your tires by one whole year, costing a new set of tires (at about $50 to $160 per tire). In fact, estimates show that for every 3 psi below recommended spec, 10 percent more tire wear occurs. If properly cared for, a tire can last a while, usually from 40,000 to 80,000 miles (RMA).
2. 5 million Gallons of Fuel per Day. In 2008, the Department of Transportation estimated low tire pressure wastes about 5 million gallons of gas per day, or 2 billion gallons per year.
3. Your Life & Safety. Tire under-inflation causes an estimated 660 highway fatalities per year. From 2005 to 2009, approximately 3,400 deaths and 116,000 injuries were attributed to tire-related issues (NHTSA).
4. Fuel Economy. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires. So, a car with a fuel-economy rating of 30 miles per gallon and a 35 PSI tire pressure recommendation, a drop of 25 percent in tire pressure means a loss of 8.8 percent in fuel economy, or an overall drop of 2.6 miles per gallon (Department of Energy at fueleconomy.gov).
5. Money at the Pump. Loss of fuel economy directly translates to more money at the pump. With today’s high cost of gas, the average motorist could save 12 cents per gallon, just by properly inflating the tires (Department of Energy).
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Beware: Even if you are completely innocent in an accident, you can get stuck with thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars of medical bills, loss of income, and a permanent injury. All of which can be devastating. Make sure you are adequately protected!
Because of this, Gainesville and Ocala car accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon wrote the book Buying Florida Auto Insurance – A 3 Step Approach to Purchasing Adequate Auto Insurance at Competitive Pricing.
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