Hankook's Quarterly Gauge Index Finds That Americans Predict Snowier Winter, and are Prepared to Drive through It

Majority of drivers say they're confident driving in the snow, yet 63 percent cite icy roadways as their #1 concern

Dec 30, 2013, 11:00 ET from Hankook Tire America Corp.

WAYNE, N.J., Dec. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Get out the ice scraper and put on those winter tires because Americans are ready for snow. Hankook's 2013 Winter Gauge Index revealed 41 percent 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 percent) stated that they are comfortable driving in the snow - a hefty percentage considering less than half of those polled live in the Northeast or the Midwest. Only one (1) percent 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 percent of drivers say skidding on icy roadways is their biggest concern when driving in the winter. This number is down from the 68 percent findings in last year's survey.

Additional wintery findings from the survey include:

  • The most popular post-snowstorm activity was 'staying inside' (49 percent) versus going sledding (15 percent), building a snowman (13 percent), shoveling snow (11 percent) or having a snowball fight (8 percent)
  • Despite the freezing temperatures, 43 percent of Americans said they spend their time sitting in the car while waiting for it to warm up in the winter; 24 percent said they sit inside and drink a cup of coffee
  • Seventy-one (71) percent of Americans spend less than one hour digging their car out of the snow
  • Nearly half of Americans maintain their own driveway (49 percent), while 26 percent said they don't maintain it, and 4 percent 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 your tires 'aired up': Ensure your tires are properly inflated. For every 10 degree Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, your 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.
  • Invest in a set of dedicated winter tires for your vehicle:  Winter tires, like the Hankook Winter i*cept evo, are specifically designed to provide improved traction in cold, snowy and icy conditions. Whether your vehicle is Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive, winter tires can offer you and your vehicle 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 December 9-10, probed 1,010 Americans about winter driving and what is on their mind as the season approaches.

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 better for consumers and the environment.  Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. 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 in the United States.

SOURCE Hankook Tire America Corp.