With temperatures rising steadily as summer reaches its peak, Americans are hitting the road for vacations. And this year, they’re logging more miles. According to Hankook’s recent Tire Gauge Index survey findings, the average road trip distances this summer will be up by nearly 30 percent from last summer’s 725 miles.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans said that the current price of gas will have some effect on their decision to take a road trip this summer. According to AAA, average gas prices on June 25, 2011 were $3.59, while average gas prices on June 25, 2012 were $3.41.
Although total distance to be traveled is greater this year, the percentage of Americans planning to take one road trip this summer remains the same. Consistent with the 2011 Summer Gauge Index conducted the same time last year, 70 percent of Americans plan to take at least one road trip or summer vacation that involves driving 50 miles or more. Interestingly, fewer Americans will be on the road for the Fourth of July holiday. Only 20 percent of Americans plan to drive for the Fourth, down 10 percent from last year.
Pets Over In-laws
Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans would most like to travel with their spouse or partner, but in-laws are the least favorable travel companions. Nine percent of Americans would rather travel by themselves or with their pet (2 percent) than with their in-laws (.6 percent).
26 percent of women most like to entertain themselves on a road trip by talking to other passengers, while only 19 percent of men do. Men prefer to listen to music on the road (67 percent of men, 53 percent of women).
Americans Still Savvy on Tire Pressure, Tread; Tire Changing Confidence Dropping
With so many people on the road this summer, Americans continue to be knowledgeable of proper tire pressure and optimum tread. Consistent with last year’s findings, 76 percent of respondents are confident they know the exact air pressure of their tires and 71 percent are sure they know what the correct tread depth is of their tires.
Dipping this year is Americans’ confidence in changing a flat tire. In 2011, 73 percent of those polled were confident they had the tools and knowledge to change a flat, while this year that number dropped to 67 percent (85 percent male, 51 percent female). In particular, female confidence is down close to 10 percent from 2011.
“We continually strive to tap into American driving sentiment in a compelling and unique way for our quarterly Gauge Index,” said Henry Kopacz, Hankook’s tire expert. “We are pleased to see from the year-over-year data how summer travel patterns have evolved, and that Americans are still confident in their tire maintenance know-how.”
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a quarterly survey of Americans that uncovers their attitudes and opinions about all things related to driving. The summer installment of the survey, conducted June 13-18 by Vision Critical, on behalf of Hankook Tire America Corp., polled 1,012 randomly selected Americans on summer driving and what is on their minds as the season approaches.