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Drivers Awareness Bulletin

************************* NEW *************************

Jan 1, 2023


Why does Civil Air Patrol have so much emphasis on tire safety, especially tire pressure.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) studies show that a tire 25% below the vehicle manufactures recommended tire pressure is three times as likely to be involved in an accident while a tire 25% above the recommended tire pressure is twice as likely to be involved in an accident (July 4, 2016).

How many accidents are we talking about? The NHTSA data found that there are nearly 11,000 tire related motor vehicle accidents per year. Many of these accidents were the result of low tire pressure. Low tire pressure is one of the leading causes of tire failure in the country and results in thousands of injuries and an estimated 41 deaths every year (Feb 22, 2022). Weather is the next leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. Combined, these two factors can be deadly.

Having under inflated tires can make your vehicle more difficult to steer, more difficult to stop on a wet or icy roads, and can make it easier to lose control of the vehicle. Bottom line, a vehicle without appropriate tire pressure is more accident prone.

Low tire pressure also contributes to excessive tire wear. The under inflated tire does not ride on the road properly, shortens the life span of the tire, and reduces fuel efficiency.

What is the correct tire pressure for your vehicle? Our fleet contains many different types of vehicles; large vans, small vans, SUV’s ,  and pick-up trucks. CAPR 77-1, 3-1a5 states that the vehicle manufactures recommended tire pressure determines the correct tire pressure for each vehicle. This normally can be found on the sticker of the driver side door post. Unit Transportation Officers should stencil this tire pressure on the wheel well above each tire (CAPR77-1 2-1b). Remember tire pressure may be different for front and back tires.

We have told you WHY we emphasize vehicle tire pressure. Next, is HOW do vehicle drivers ensure they are driving vehicles with the correct tire pressure?  First, we have to ensure that each vehicle has a tire gage. CAPR 77-1, 2-1 answers this question “Prior to the first use of the day, vehicle operators will perform a safety check using CAPF 73…”. This safety check includes a visual inspection of each tire (tread wear, damage, age of tire) and checking the tire pressure of each tire. If the tire pressure is low or high, it needs to be corrected before using the vehicle for a mission or activity. The first time the vehicle is used during the month, after checking the tire pressure, the vehicle diver needs to “sign and date” the CAPF 73 indicating tire pressure was checked.

Additional information can be found in CAPR 77-1


Article Submitted by LtCol Robert Taylor, Illinois Wing Director of Logistics/Transportation.

LtCol Taylor has been a CAP member for 38 years, is Master Rated In Safety and has been the NESA Mission Safety Officer for over twelve years.


Work-Related Roadway Crashes


Roadway crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S.

Between 1992 and 2001, 13,337 civilian workers died in roadway crashes, an average of 4 deaths each day. Roadway crashes led all other causes, making up 22% of workplace deaths, compared with 13% from homicide and 10% from falls (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries).

In 2000, lost wages and benefits for crash victims (occupational and non-occupational) were $61 billion. Costs to employers due to the loss or absence of an employee from work accounted for $4.6 billion more (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). For employers and victims, a workplace crash can have far-reaching financial, medical, and legal consequences.

Who is at risk? – Anyone who operates a motor vehicle as part of his or her job is at risk of being involved in a roadway crash.

In 2001, nearly 4.2 million U.S. workers were motor vehicle operators; 73% were truck drivers. Roadway crashes are by far the leading cause of death for transport workers. Millions of other workers who are not full-time professional drivers operate company or personal vehicles for deliveries, sales and repair calls, client visits, and many other tasks. Roadway crashes are also the leading cause of death for workers in clerical and professional specialty jobs, and the second leading cause for executives, sales workers, and technicians. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries)


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