NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As fall foliage is expected to peak across the U.S. in early October, Americans voted the Great Smoky Mountains as the best destination for a fall road trip, according to the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index. Over one-third of Americans (35 percent) rated this mountain range, which rises above the Tennessee-North Carolina border, as the ideal place to drive to this season.
In addition, nearly one in five Americans (19 percent) report that Aspen, Colo. is an ideal location for fall driving, followed by the Columbia River Gorge in the Pacific Northwest and the Catskill Mountains in New York (both 12 percent).
While scenic views and fall foliage may be the main reason Americans are ready to hit the road, the data also found drivers are looking to escape big cities. According to the Hankook Gauge Index, two in five Americans (40 percent) believe New York City is the least desirable driving destination in the country. The main reason for this sentiment could be New York's traffic, which 37 percent of Americans and over half (55 percent) of east coast residents believe is the worst in the country. The only city to rank worse than New York in traffic is Los Angeles, which 40 percent of Americans voted as the worst city for traffic, including 61 percent of west coast residents.
No matter where drivers chase fall foliage this season, it is important to consider the safety hazards unique to the season. Red and yellow leaves may offer postcard-perfect pictures, but they can also be a hazard on the road, leading to decreased traction and more slippery driving conditions. The change of season serves as a good reminder for drivers to inspect their tires' air pressure, tread and overall condition to help promote safe driving, and the vast majority (83 percent) of Americans acknowledge that healthy tire tread improves traction and grip in wet conditions. Respondents recognized the other benefits of healthy tire tread this season, including increased mileage (73 percent), improved grip in dry conditions (70 percent) and longer tire life (62 percent).
"Fall road trips are all about adventure, fun and safety, and our latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index tells us Americans are looking to take advantage of the scenic autumn weather," said Wes Boling, Public Relations Manager, Hankook Tire America Corp. "Whether we're taking an adventurous trip through the mountains or battling through the daily commute, tire maintenance is imperative to safe driving, no matter the season or the conditions. At Hankook Tire, we strive toward safety on the road."
Most Americans (56 percent) check the health of their tires with just a visual inspection, which can be effective, but not precise. Hankook tires feature a tread wear indicator on the sidewall. When the tire groove wears below the indicator mark, the tire needs to be replaced. Additionally, using a penny is a simple way to check the health and depth of the tread. Insert a penny upside down into the tread groove. If Lincoln's head is still visible, it's time to replace the tire.
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a quarterly survey of Americans' attitudes and opinions about all things related to driving. The latest installment of the survey, conducted August 2-3, polled 956 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 and SUV tires and medium truck and bus tires in the United States.
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SOURCE Hankook Tire America Corp.