Hankook Tire's Quarterly Gauge Index Reveals Americans' Eager to Spruce Up Their Vehicles and Hit The Road This Spring


car washing

Survey finds majority of Americans will clean their cars and then hit the open road

Most popular American road trip, top travel munchies, and #1 classically American state all unveiled

WAYNE, NJ--April 24, 2013: Spring is in full swing and as is customary at this time of year, Americans are tidying up. As drivers prepare to soak up the sun and hit the open road, the Hankook Spring Gauge Index finds that they prefer to clean their vehicles first. Nearly half (49 percent) of American drivers polled stated they plan to clean their vehicle before their closet at home this spring, compared to 32 percent who said they will first tidy a messy closet. The survey also uncovered that not all Americans share a spring cleaning mindset. Nineteen (19) percent do not intend to clean their cars or their closets at all.

Seventy-eight (78) percent of Americans claim they keep their vehicle "neat," however, even with these neat vehicles, strange items can be found upon cleaning. Among the oddest, drivers surveyed reported they had uncovered everything from a whole, long forgotten about breakfast sandwich, a baby snake, a mouse, the skeleton of a frog, a tooth, to a 15 year old concert ticket.

Defining the "American" Road Trip

In their newly clean vehicles, more than half (56 percent) of Americans are planning to take a spring road trip that involves driving 50 miles or more, up 14 percent from the number who planned to take a road trip this past winter. Of those surveyed that are planning a road trip of 50 miles or more, results show that they will drive an average of 1,025 miles during their trips.

A drive along California's Pacific Coast Highway was the most popular American road trip according to the survey results, with 25 percent of respondents stating that would be their most desired spring travel spot.  Of all 50 U.S. states, respondents named Texas the most "classically" American (14 percent), followed by New York (10 percent), California (9 percent), Pennsylvania (6 percent) and Virginia (5 percent).

What are Americans munching on while on the road?  Potato chips lead the list (31 percent), followed by beef jerky (16 percent), trail mix (15 percent) and PB&J sandwiches (12 percent) as the favorite "American" snacks while out on the road.

"The Hankook Quarterly Gauge Index provides interesting and unique insight into the minds of American drivers," said Henry Kopacz, Hankook's tire expert. "This season it is great to see so many people planning to take care of their vehicles and getting ready to hit the open road."

Before you grab your snacks and get to driving, below are Hankook's top tips for spring motoring:

  • Check your tires - More than half (56 percent) of American drivers say that checking their tire pressure is a part of their spring car cleaning routine, followed by 50 percent that say monitoring their vehicle's tire tread is, and 41 percent say that checking for tire damage is part of their spring vehicle to-do list. Drivers should check their vehicle's tire pressure, tread depth and overall condition at least once a month to ensure safety and optimal vehicle efficiency.
  • Be aware of potholes - Potholes are prevalent in the spring nationwide, whether because of frigid temperatures and wintery conditions or wet, cool periods, and can cause significant damage to a vehicle's tires. Should a motorist impact a pothole with their vehicle, it is important to have the vehicle's tires inspected by a tire service professional.
  • Be prepared for any weather -- Tires like Hankook's new Ultra-High Performance All-Season Ventus S1 noble2, which incorporates an advanced silica tread compound, offer improved traction in wet, dry and winter conditions. Additionally the Ventus S1 noble2 is designed to offer lower rolling resistance, minimizing wasted energy and improving vehicle fuel efficiency.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a quarterly survey of Americans that uncovers their attitudes and opinions about all things related to driving. The spring installment of the survey, conducted April 1-2, 2013 polled 1,002 randomly selected Americans on spring driving and what is on their minds as the season approaches. Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Three-in-five (59 percent) Americans drive every day; two (2) percent drive only on weekends
  • Ten (10) percent of Americans would consider taking a road trip of 100 miles or more for Memorial Day
  • Forty-eight (48) percent of Americans typically get to their mother's or father's house by driving; nine (9) percent fly
  • Seventy (70) percent of Americans would not mind receiving a set of tires for Mother's Day/Father's Day
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