Colder weather is here – just in time for many Americans to embark on holiday road trips. According to an online survey commissioned by Bridgestone Americas and fielded by Harris Poll in October 2015,* Americans will log a combined national average of 25 billion miles on the road to visit family and spend a combined average of $52 billion on travel during the holiday season.** Although many will be taking holiday road trips, only a quarter (26 percent) of drivers in “snowbelt” states already have installed or plan to install winter tires this year.
“Many Americans are traveling for the holidays, but most haven’t fully prepared their vehicles to take on challenging winter driving conditions,” said Chris Welty, Bridgestone tire education specialist. “Winter tires are built specially to give drivers better grip, stopping power and more control in snow, slush and ice. The thin layer of water on the road from ice or melting snow can be very dangerous, and winter tires are designed to clear that icy water and grip the road.”
Although they’re planning to drive 147 miles on average to different family members’ homes this holiday season, many Americans are troubled by the freezing temperatures and treacherous driving conditions that accompany the start of winter. Seventy-one percent of drivers admit they are nervous to drive when it’s icy, and many also are nervous to drive during heavy fog (52 percent), heavy rain (48 percent), sleet (47 percent) and snow (45 percent). In fact, when Americans were asked what they dislike in general about the winter season, driving issues topped the list, specifically icy roads (59 percent) and other drivers who drive dangerously (55 percent). Other major dislikes include heating bills (47 percent), removing snow and ice from their vehicle (43 percent), and even cold feet (38 percent).
“It’s clear from our survey findings that Americans are worried about driving in winter weather,” said Welty. “Making the switch to winter tires can help ensure that drivers feel confident in every winter driving condition – whether they are headed to Grandma’s house this holiday or sticking closer to home. The holiday season can be stressful, but hitting the road in winter weather doesn’t have to be.”
To make sure their vehicles are road trip ready, most of those who currently own a vehicle (74 percent) prepare for winter by checking tire pressure (48 percent), windshield wipers (46 percent) or fluid levels (45 percent). When it comes to preparing a vehicle for winter weather, Bridgestone encourages drivers to remember the four B’s – battery, brakes, blades and Blizzak winter tires.
For information about Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires or to find a Bridgestone retailer, visit ConquertheCold.com.
*Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Bridgestone from Oct. 14-16, among 2,072 adults ages 18 and older.
**Calculation based on U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census, which estimates there are 234.6 million adults ages 18 or older residing in the United States: with 65 percent travelling for the holidays. Of these, the average expenditure is $343 on holiday travels, for $52 billion. 234.6 million x .73 drive to different family member’s home during the holiday season; of these, there is 147 average miles driven, for 25 billion miles driven.