NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As the first polar vortex of the winter season brought frigid temperatures across the United States last week, Americans from coast to coast are bracing for snow season. Today marks the official start of winter, which means drivers should be checking fluids, fixing heaters and swapping tires to make sure their vehicle is ready for the weather. In fact, one in five Americans will drive on season appropriate tires to help combat snowy, icy and slushy roads, according to the latest Hankook Gauge Index. There is good reason why drivers are approaching the season with caution, as close to half (49%) of Americans have reported skidding off the road due to winter conditions.
To help ensure smooth and safe driving this winter, 86% of drivers report they alter their driving behavior or "road rules" during the winter season. Findings from the Hankook Gauge Index include:
- 70% of drivers keep a longer distance between their vehicle and other cars on the road when there is snow on the ground
- 48% of Americans will change their driving habits to avoid driving in the dark during the winter months
- 71% of Americans say they are less likely to take a taxi or rideshare service if it's snowing
No driver, snow problem
While the majority of Americans indicated they are less likely to take a taxi or rideshare service while it's snowing, the emergence of autonomous cars is no more reassuring. Close to 50% of Americans are not at all comfortable with the idea of driverless cars in the snow. In fact, 24% of drivers are not comfortable even sharing the road with a driverless car in wintry conditions.
For drivers across the country, Hankook Tire offers drivers the following tips to stay safe on the roads this winter:
- Don't mix your tires – Never mix tires with different tread patterns, performance ratings or sizes. Use identical tires on all of your vehicle's wheel positions to maintain the best control and stability. In cold temperatures and slick surfaces that require significant grip, a dedicated winter or all-season tire is best for your car. High-performance winter tires like the Winter i*cept evo2 offer the sporty, durable elements drivers love, along with driving stability and excellent traction on snow and ice allowing for a safer experience.
- Stock up – When asked about the essentials kept in the car during the winter, the majority of Americans agree that a snow brush or ice scraper (75%), flashlights (66%), and blankets (61%) are the "go-to" items to stash in the trunk. Hankook also suggests considering items such as jumper cables, a cell phone charger, sand/salt and flares.
- Fill your fluids –A car's fuel line can freeze up very easily in the winter, and this usually happens when the gas level is below half a tank. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up, and check your windshield washer fluid to ensure your front and rear wipers are ready to clear away rain, snow or sleet.
- Air them up – Check the air pressure in your tires regularly as the temperature drops, so does tire inflation, decreasing 1-2 pounds for every 10 degree drop in ambient air temperature.
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 2-4, 2016, polled 1,022 randomly selected Americans.
About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Hankook Tire America Corp. is a growing leader in the U.S. tire market, leveraging investments in technology, manufacturing and marketing to deliver high quality, reliable products that are safer for consumers and the environment. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Hankook Tire markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck, SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires in the United States.
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SOURCE Hankook Tire America Corp.