In late November, a research company called Vision Critical surveyed 1,002 randomly selected Americans concerning their attitudes and opinions on tires and driving.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Hankook Tire America Corp., and the results, titled the Hankook Tire Winter Gauge Index, revealed that 84% of the respondents would not mind receiving tires as a gift this holiday season and 35% would actually love it. 

I can relate. My husband just bought four new snow tires for my car, and I couldn’t be happier. How many gifts can offer comfort and the joy of feeling secure and safe on the roads all winter long? And, with care, the gift will keep on giving for years to come. I’m just wondering what’s wrong with the 16% who would mind receiving tires.    

Four in 10 of those surveyed plan to take at least one holiday road trip, and of those, nearly half (46%) plan on driving over 500 miles to reach their destination, with 28% driving over 1,001 miles.

Eighty-two percent of those surveyed who will drive in icy and snowy conditions this winter are concerned about winter driving, with 63% most concerned about skidding and icy roadways. Yet, only 8% say they are actually driving with winter tires on their vehicles. There’s a real disconnect there.

I wish consumers who are concerned about winter driving could experience ride-and-drive comparisons of winter tires with other types of tires. That would certainly make your job easier when you try to sell them on how the advantages outweigh the tiny inconvenience of the winter-tire switchover.

The AAA reports that approximately 83.6 million people plan to take to the nation’s roadways this year-end holiday travel season, a 2.1% increase compared to 2010-11 when the number of auto travelers totaled 81.9 million. 

Also, the current national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is approximately $3.26 per gallon, about 29 cents more than one year ago, AAA reports.  However, the national average price is about 72 cents less than the high in May.

A majority of consumers are being tire-conscious. Hankook’s survey found that 69% say they have checked their tire pressure in the past month, 62% have checked their tread and 62% have looked for tire damage in the past month.

Some good numbers. Driving miles up, gas prices down. And here’s hoping the 35% who would love to receive tires for a gift get their wish.

And my wish for you is a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

Author

Lori L. Mavrigian
Lori L. Mavrigian

Managing Editor

Since joining <I>Modern Tire Dealer</I> in 1979, Lori Mavrigian has held several key positions leading to her current title as managing editor. In addition to handling the day-to-day operations of magazine production, Lori writes features, contributes photography and is in charge of several of the magazines departments. She also works with the magazine's National Advisory Council for the exclusive Ludwig Report surveys. She earned a B.A. in Mass Media-Communications from the University of Akron.

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Since joining <I>Modern Tire Dealer</I> in 1979, Lori Mavrigian has held several key positions leading to her current title as managing editor. In addition to handling the day-to-day operations of magazine production, Lori writes features, contributes photography and is in charge of several of the magazines departments. She also works with the magazine's National Advisory Council for the exclusive Ludwig Report surveys. She earned a B.A. in Mass Media-Communications from the University of Akron.

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