The holiday season can be a blur with family visits, cutting down the tree, stringing up the lights, errand-running and last minute gift shopping. Yet, despite all this, many people across the U.S. are also thinking about snow and winter driving. In a survey conducted last week by Hankook Tire America Corp., 42 percent of Americans named "White Christmas" their favorite holiday song while driving, and 60 percent believe it is likely to snow on Christmas day.
While it may be difficult to predict Christmas day weather right now, there is sure to be a lot of singing to "White Christmas" taking place on the road this season. Sixty-six percent of Americans planning a road trip this winter will travel during the holiday season, driving a roundtrip average of 840 miles. Average distance is down slightly in comparison to last year's average of 870 miles.
Although it may not seem an obvious choice, tires as holiday gifts have consistently been an attractive item for many Americans. According to the 2012 Hankook Tire Winter Gauge Index, 85 percent of Americans would not mind receiving tires for the holidays, which is comparable to last year's Winter Gauge Index. In fact, 42 percent say they would love receiving the tires as a gift, and men and women are equally likely to pine for a set of tires under the tree.
Buying new tires as a gift may be a good way to help keep loved ones safe while on the road this winter, especially for people who live in the Northeast. Forty-seven (47) percent of Northeasterners said that they thought this year will be a snowier winter; however, only 15 percent of Northeast drivers feel more prepared this winter with their vehicle. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans who will drive in winter weather areas this year listed driving in snowy/icy conditions as their primary winter driving concern, up slightly from last year's 63 percent.
Here are Hankook's top winter driving tips to ensure you stay safe this holiday season:
- Check Your Tread to Prepare for Snow -- With snowy and icy roads on the way, check to make sure your tread is even. Worn tread is the #1 cause of skidding during the winter. If putting on winter tires, be sure to put them on your vehicle 1-2 weeks before the next anticipated snow storm. Make sure to drive slowly and gently while accelerating, turning and braking.
- Stock up and Be Prepared -- On a snowy day, you can go through lots of windshield washer fluid to ensure you can see ahead of you. Check to make sure your fluid levels are full with engine coolant and no-freeze windshield wash, and also pack a spare tire, ice scraper, snow shovel, snow brush, booster cables and a flashlight in your car before you hit the road.
- Save at the Pump…for those Holiday Gifts -- Properly inflated tires keep you safe and save you money at the pump. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a quarterly survey of Americans that uncovers their attitudes and opinions about all things related to driving. The winter installment of the survey, conducted December 5 by Vision Critical, on behalf of Hankook Tire America Corp., polled 1,006 randomly selected Americans on winter driving and what is on their minds as the season approaches. Additional findings from the survey include:
- Fifty-five (55) percent of Americans would consider giving a loved one a set of tires for the holidays
- Americans would be more willing to drive over 25 miles to pick up their in-laws (40 percent), than a last minute holiday gift (29 percent) or a Christmas tree (16 percent)
- Forty-one (41) percent of Americans are likely to attend a New Year's party this year; 50 percent of those planning to attend a party will drive themselves
- Sixty-nine (69) percent of respondents have checked their tire pressure in the past month; 62 percent have checked their tread depth