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December 30, 2013

Hankook report: Americans are ready for snow

Hankook Tire America Corp. has released its 2013 Winter Gauge Index that reveals 41% of all Americans polled and more than half of Northeasterners and Midwesterners expect more snow this winter, as compared to last year.

However, while the flakes might fall, snow is not stopping American drivers from hitting the roads. More than three quarters of those polled (76%) stated that they are comfortable driving in the snow, a large percentage considering less than half of those polled live in the Northeast or the Midwest. Only 1% of drivers reported that they do not drive in the snow.

But, even with this stated confidence, driving through a winter wonderland can be unsettling for some. The Hankook Quarterly Gauge Index found that 63% of drivers say skidding on icy roadways is their biggest concern when driving in the winter. This number is down from the 68% findings in last year’s survey.

Additional wintery findings from the survey include:

  • The most popular post-snowstorm activity was “staying inside” (49%) versus going sledding (15%), building a snowman (13%), shoveling snow (11%) or having a snowball fight (8%);
  • Despite the freezing temperatures, 43% of Americans said they spend their time sitting in the car while waiting for it to warm up in the winter; 24% said they sit inside and drink a cup of coffee;
  • Seventy-one percent of Americans spend less than one hour digging their car out of the snow; and
  • Nearly half of Americans maintain their own driveway (49%), while 26% said they don’t maintain it, and 4% employ their kids to do it.

Given the inclement weather and the challenges of driving in ice and snow this season, Hankook Tire advises drivers to take notice of a few winter driving tips:

  • Keep tires properly inflacted. For every 10 degree Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, a tire’s inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi. Improperly inflated tires can lead to poor traction, decreased control, and skidding;
  • Slowly accelerate and decelerate: Applying engine power slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry, and take time to slow down when stopping; and
  • Invest in a set of dedicated winter tires: Winter tires, like the Hankook Winter i*cept evo, are specifically designed to provide improved traction in cold, snowy and icy conditions. Whether a FWD, RWD or AWD, winter tires can offer an additional element of performance to get you through those tricky winter driving months.

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 Dec. 9-10, 2013, probed 1,010 Americans about winter driving and what is on their mind as the season approaches.

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