Conducted for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), the survey found that 66 percent of drivers say high fuel prices will force them to cancel or limit road trips this summer. That number climbs even higher for young drivers aged 18 to 24, with 75 percent making such decisions.
Eight-in-ten Canadian drivers now believe high gas fuel prices are here to stay, the survey also found.
The poll surveyed over 1,500 Canadian drivers between April 8 to 10 this year, using Leger’s online panel. It yields a margin of error plus or minus 2.5 percent, 19 times out of 20.
As of May 16, a number of provinces are seeing average gas prices above $2.00 per litre, with British Columbia topping the list at $2.15 per litre, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at $2.14 per litre and Quebec at $2.08 per litre, according to the Canadian Automobile Association.
TRAC, a Canadian trade association representing tire and other rubber manufacturers, says the survey also revealed a “significant disconnect” between drivers’ understanding of proper tire inflation and the knowledge of when and how to set the correct tire pressure.
TRAC said proper tire inflation could improve gas mileage by 0.6 percent on average—and even up to 3 percent in some cases.
While almost all (93 percent) respondents say correct tire pressure can save fuel, only 27 percent of drivers check their tire inflation pressures monthly—the frequency recommended by tire makers.
Over half (59 percent) of drivers are unaware that inflation pressures should only be measured when tires are not heated from use. TRAC says a vehicle should be stationary for at least three hours or have not been driven for more than 2 kilometres before being checked for tire inflation.
“Monthly checks to ensure your tires are correctly inflated are the most effective way to achieve the best fuel economy and extract the most value from your tires,” president of TRAC Carol Hochu said in a news release on May 9.
“Combined with the right driving habits such as reducing idling, maintaining a steady speed, accelerating gently and coasting to decelerate, these small, simple practices can add up to big improvements in fuel economy.”
Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2 percent for each one PSI drop in the average pressure of all tires, TRAC said. In addition, driving a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 56 kPa (8 psi) can increase fuel consumption by four percent.
Data from Statistics Canada shows Canadians purchased close to 45 billion litres of gasoline in 2019. TRAC said with a 0.6 percent gas mileage improvement resulting from proper tire inflation, drivers would have reduced gas purchases by 258 million litres, saving a total of roughly $490 million.