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Jul 16, 2014 - 03:28 PM
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Americans Beat the Heat This Summer
Posted by: newsla on Jul 16, 2014 - 03:25 PM
Auto News
Americans Beat the Heat This Summer

As summer temperatures reach new heights, Americans are getting serious about staying cool.

From swimming in the ocean to camping in the mountains, to just plain cranking the AC and hitting the road, Americans are finding ways to beat the heat, while enjoying themselves along the way.


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Hankook Tire’s Summer Gauge Index found that 71 percent of Americans say they can’t live without air conditioning in their car during a heatwave while 60 percent can’t live without it on a regular summer day.

This correlates with how people feel about air conditioning in their home – 75 percent can’t live without it in their house during a heatwave and 61 percent must have it during a regular summer day. Surprisingly, people say they are less likely to need air conditioning at work, regardless of a heatwave (51 percent must have it) or a normal summer day (46 percent must have it).

Road trip travel on the rise

To escape the heat, Americans are hitting the road. The survey found that 69 percent of Americans are planning to take at least one summer vacation road trip in the next few months, up 9 percent from 2013. They will drive an average of 909.4 miles on that trip this year.

When asked what they consider the most important item in their ‘Road Trip Survival Kit’ one-third (31 percent) say they think a spare tire is the most important item, followed by a GPS or GPS mobile app (24 percent), a phone charger (20 percent), caffeine (6 percent), fast food (5 percent), and a music playlist (3 percent).

“Our quarterly Hankook Tire Gauge Index provides unique insight into how American drivers are spending their time on the road this summer,” said Henry Kopacz, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, Hankook Tire America Corp. “While it is great to see that more Americans will be taking road trips, it will be important for drivers to be mindful of tire and car maintenance to keep them safe while on vacation.”

Hankook’s top tips to stay ‘cool’ out on the road this summer:

· Be particularly attentive to hot tires: Air in your vehicle’s tires expands as temperatures rise. In fact, for every 10° Fahrenheit increase in ambient air temperature, your tire's inflation pressure can go up by about 1 psi. Check to make sure your tires are properly inflated, especially during heat waves…too much air can be as bad as too little.

· Keep a spare tire handy…and make sure it’s in good shape: According to the Hankook Summer Gauge Index, in the past month, only 41 percent of Americans have checked that their spare tire is aired up and ready to use. Before embarking on any summer road trips, make sure your spare tire is neatly packed in your trunk, inflated to its proper setting, and in working condition if needed in an emergency.

· Adjust your driving for the terrain: If you find yourself at the beach driving on sand, keep your wheels straight and avoid sharp turns. If you end up stuck in a sand trap, apply gradual power to the wheels until you’re back in motion.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index survey of 1,012 randomly-selected Americans was conducted on June 24-25, 2014 by Vision Critical, on behalf of Hankook Tire America Corp. Additional findings from the survey include:

• One-third (34 percent) of American drivers say they personalize their car with air fresheners, followed by bumper stickers (12 percent), vanity license plates (11 percent), and window signage (11 percent).

• When it comes to texting, 43 percent say they never look at their phone when driving, and 17 percent say they pull over. Fourteen (14) percent admit to “sneaking peeks,” while 10 percent say they use hands-free technology.

• Thirty-seven (37) percent of American car owners say they eat at least one meal per week in their car.

• Extroverts (66 percent) are significantly more likely than introverts (57 percent) to say they are smart drivers on the road, while introverts (30 percent) are significantly more likely than extroverts (20 percent) to say they have a calm or “goody two-shoes” driving personality on the road.

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