23 percent of Americans are set to take a road trip this Fourth of July weekend, according to the new Gauge Index study from Hankook Tire.
Other findings from the report: 50 percent of Americans prioritize vehicle comfort over fuel efficiency (35 percent) and driving performance (15 percent). One of the major contributors to cabin comfort is temperature, and nobody enjoys sitting in a hot seat. The Gauge found that one in three drivers (31 percent) start the car to cool it down before getting in. Once on the open road, Hankook found that Americans prefer having the air conditioning on (61 percent) to open windows (39 percent).
Another important component to road trips is passenger etiquette. More than one in four drivers acknowledge they change music (28 percent), check GPS (28 percent) and take phone calls (33 percent) while driving, according to the Gauge Index. Passengers can take control of these activities during road trips but shouldn't be a distraction themselves – 18 percent of drivers identified other people in the car as the biggest distraction while driving, Hankook said.
Although road tripping can be cheaper than flying, filling the tank a few times can add up, especially if drivers are paying by themselves. Fortunately, the latest Gauge Index found that drivers do not always pick up the gas tab alone, as passengers chip in for gas quite often – 66 percent of the time. Passengers will pick up the entire tab just 5 percent of the time.
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a quarterly survey of Americans that uncovers their attitudes and opinions about all things related to driving. The latest installment of the survey, conducted from April 21 to April 22, polled 1,031 randomly selected American drivers.