Pothole Pitfalls: Steering Clear of a Springtime Menace

Hankook Gauge Index taps into Americans' experiences with one of tires' biggest enemies

Apr 24, 2014, 09:00 ET from Hankook Tire America Corp.

WAYNE, N.J., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The dreaded pothole: it's one of the most frustrating obstacles that drivers face.

Potholes, which are caused by the accumulation of water within the structure of the road and worsened by traffic, are usually the product of a long winter of steady snow and rain combined with spring thawing. This season, Hankook Tire asked American drivers about their experiences with potholes and what impact these unpleasant surprises have on their vehicles. Overall, fifty-nine (59) percent said they've noticed more potholes on the road this year, as compared to last year, and 39 percent of drivers also said potholes have caused them to damage a tire in the past. With the Northeast and Midwest areas of the country experiencing more of a range of weather conditions during the winter and spring months, it's no surprise that those drivers saw the biggest increase in road irregularities; the Hankook Gauge Index found that 82 percent of Northeast and Midwest drivers noticed more potholes this spring.

"Pothole Patrol"

In some cases, what starts out as an irritating bump turns into an emergency situation – a blown tire, requiring an immediate tire change. And although many drivers are well-versed in what to do under these tedious circumstances, for some, these stressful roadside occurrences can be their first lesson in tire repair. According to the Hankook Tire Gauge, 34 percent of drivers learned how to change a tire in an emergency situation, compared to 38 percent who learned during a preventative lesson. Emergency or not, the Hankook Tire Gauge found that 22 percent of Americans still do not know how to change a tire.  

"Potholes and road damage are prevalent this time of year, making it even more important for drivers to take care of their vehicles and tires," said Henry Kopacz, Public Relations and Social Media Manager, Hankook Tire America Corp. "While we're pleased to see from the Gauge data that some Americans are checking their tire pressure and tread monthly, our goal is to educate more consumers about the safety and environmental benefits of properly maintained tires."

To prevent pothole pitfalls and keep a smooth ride this season, consider Hankook's top tips for spring driving:

  • Choose the right tire – When it comes to the spring and summer months, the brand new Hankook Ultra-High Performance Ventus V12 evo2 and High Performance All-Season Ventus V2 concept2 tires are perfect for handling the season's varied road conditions with their impressive wet and dry traction and handling. Both the Ventus V12 evo2 and Ventus V2 concept2 incorporate an advanced silica rubber compound, which offers lower rolling resistance to enhance vehicle fuel economy without surrendering dry and wet traction. The All-Season Ventus V2 concept2, with its maximum lateral stiffness for handling and reduced tendency for irregular wear, is the perfect choice for those looking for a confident and comfortable ride.
  • Check your tires monthly – Drivers should check their tread and tire pressure once a month; however, according to the Gauge only 67 percent of Americans have checked their pressure and 60 percent have checked their tread this past month. Ideal tire pressure is listed in your vehicle owner's manual and tire tread is considered "worn out" once it hits 2/32 of an inch.
  • Learn to change a tire – Whether it's a class, friend, or dear ol' dad, take a few pointers on changing a tire. And always make sure you pack a spare tire in your trunk. You never know when you'll find yourself in an unfortunate road situation. 
  • Rotate your tires – Tire rotation is an important maintenance duty that extends the life of your tires and ensures optimal performance. Many Americans don't do this routinely, but when done correctly, tire rotation promotes even wear and improved tread life.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a quarterly survey of Americans that uncovers their attitudes and opinions about all things related to driving. The spring installment of the survey, conducted April 9-April 10, 2014 polled 1,007 randomly selected Americans on spring driving and what is on their minds as the season approaches. Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Fifty-four (54) percent of American drivers say their car suffered damage due to winter weather this year. More than one-quarter (27 percent) say their tires suffered the most damage due to winter weather.
  • Sixty (60) percent of drivers learned how to change a tire while they were under the age of 20.
  • Sixty-two (62) percent of Americans said they received their first car when they were a teenager; 30 percent said they were in their 20s.

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 tires in the United States.

SOURCE Hankook Tire America Corp.