Canada’s roadways will be significantly less travelled than usual this summer, according to a new Leger survey for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.
Sixty-six per cent of drivers say financial pressures will likely force them to cancel or limit road trips this summer. Among drivers aged 18 to 34 that number jumps to 73 per cent, with 72 per cent for motorists aged 35-54.
“Our survey exposes the extent of harsh financial stresses impacting Canadian motorists and the need for more education on how to gain optimal fuel efficiency from tires,” says Carol Hochu, president of TRAC.
Drivers can lower their fuel bills by checking tire inflation monthly. Proper tire inflation and maintenance also enhance safety, performance and longevity while protecting the environment
“While Canada’s drivers are highly aware of the importance of proper tire inflation, there are major gaps in their knowledge about when and how to ensure tire pressures are always correct.
“By taking the time to learn a few simple techniques, motorists can save at the pumps, be eco-friendly, and experience the exceptional performance tire makers want every driver to have.”
· 81 per cent believe today’s financial pressures related to high living costs have made proper tire inflation more important than ever
· 79 per cent know correctly inflated tires lessen vehicle emissions and protect the environment by improving fuel economy
· Nearly all (95 per cent) understand proper tire inflation is essential to vehicle safety
However, despite high awareness of the importance of proper tire inflation, the survey found major – and potentially dangerous – gaps in knowledge about how to measure and set the correct tire inflation level.
· Only 22 per cent of drivers check their tire inflation pressures monthly as recommended by tire makers.
· 61 per cent are unaware inflation pressures should only be measured when tires are cold. (A vehicle should be stationary for at least three hours or not have been driven more than two kilometres prior to checking tire inflation. Measuring pressures when tires are warm gives an inaccurate reading.)
· 33 per cent refer to the air pressure stamped on the tire’s sidewall when identifying the correct pressure for their tires. (The imprinted sidewall pressure is the maximum pressure a tire can contain under maximum load, not the recommended inflation level. Prolonged driving at this inflation pressure may result in uneven tread wear and reduced traction. The correct inflation pressure for your tires is on the vehicle placard, which is commonly located on the driver’s door jamb.)
· 11 per cent either rely on visual inspections or do not know how to determine if their tires are properly inflated. (A tire can be underinflated by 20 per cent or more and look normal.)
Impact of Tire Pressure on Fuel Economy
Industry studies show motorists can improve their gas mileage by 0.6 per cent on average – up to 3 per cent in some cases – simply by keeping their tires inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Additionally, underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2 per cent for each one-PSI drop in the average pressure of all tires. Driving a vehicle with just one tire underinflated by 56 kPa (8 PSI) can increase vehicle fuel consumption by four per cent.
Eco-friendly, Fuel-efficient tires
The survey also reveals 55 per cent of drivers are unaware tire makers offer a variety of tires specifically designed to improve vehicle fuel efficiency by up to four per cent.
The survey finds just 40 per cent of Canadian motorists are aware these fuel-efficient tires are widely available and 16 per cent have equipped their vehicles with these specialty tires.
“Drivers feeling the pinch of high fuel and living costs may be better positioned than they think to lower their fuel bills,” says Hochu. “Fuel-efficient tires, particularly when used in combination with monthly inflation checks and fuel-friendly driving habits such as maintaining a steady speed, accelerating gently and coasting to decelerate, deliver significant savings and substantially lighten a driver’s carbon footprint.”
Drivers can learn more about maximizing the fuel efficiency and performance of their tires by visiting https://tracanada.ca/consumers/.
A survey of 1,517 Canadian drivers was completed between April 6-9, 2023, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
About the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada
The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (https://tracanada.ca/) is the national trade association representing tire makers, rubber products manufacturers and importers as well as rubber recyclers and suppliers of goods and services related to the industry. TRAC helps shape public policy that supports tire and rubber industry innovation, performance, safety, and sustainability including end-of-life tire management.