Failing to keep your tires at the proper pressure can have dangerous consequences
Every driver on the road needs to learn how to check tire pressure on their car. According to a United States Government study, as many as 25% of drivers on the road are driving with tires that are improperly inflated. This is appalling to anybody who understands the crucial role that your tires play in your safety and the safety of others on the road.
It's not difficult to learn how to check tire pressure, nor is it time-consuming or expensive. Why then, are more drivers not diligently checking their tire pressures regularly? I think it results from a general lack of awareness. Most drivers would say that they know their tires are important but likely don't understand how improperly inflated tires can cause a serious accident.
You need to check tire pressures regularly even if you do not think that your tires are low. A standard automotive tire will appear almost identical when it is 100% correctly inflated and when it is 50% inflated. That means that if your tire appears to be low on air, then it's already less than 50% inflated. If you check your tire pressure regularly, you don't have to worry about having a dangerous blowout due to an underinflated tire. If you notice that one of your tires is consistently a little low on your regular checks, you can take it in and have it repaired before it causes a problem.
So you want to learn how to check tire pressure now right? It's simple. Make a system where you do this once per month when you fuel up or more often if you drive more than average. Most gas stations still have an air hose that you can use for free although some are charging for this privilege now. Simply pull up to the area where there's an air hose at the gas station and walk around your vehicle and check all of your tires, filling any that are a little low. Check and re-check each tire before leaving using a high quality air gauge. I recommend digital as they're far easier to read. Below is a video explaining exactly how to do this.
Ensure that you inflate your tires to the value recommended in your car's manual and written on a sticker inside your driver's or passenger side door jamb. Your tires will have the maximum permissible psi printed on the sidewall. You should never inflate them this high unless the manual instructs you to.
When you are finished, make sure to replace the little (usually black) plastic caps that cover your valve on each tire. Although these caps do not hold the air in your tire, they prevent road dirt and other junk from getting inside the valve.
It's worth investing in a high quality tire gauge that you can keep in each of your vehicles. The difference between a high quality gauge and a cheap one will not only be evident in the build quality, but you maybe getting an inaccurate reading from a cheap gauge and not even know it.