Nearly two-thirds of U.S. motorists confess to multitasking while driving, while more than one-quarter admit they either can’t change a tire or never rotate their tires, according to a survey by tire manufacturer Hankook.
The company’s Gauge Index Survey, released in conjunction with National Tire Safety Week, looked at the top habits that affect daily driving to better understand potential safety hazards as Americans gear up for summer travel.
The survey of 1,021 randomly selected motorists 18 and older and having a valid U.S. driver’s license, conducted April 19-22, showed 64% acknowledging they multitask while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attentions from driving.” Hankook found that the sources of distraction behind the wheel vary:
- 24% said they sing at the top of their lungs
- 21% eat while driving
- 11% admit to texting
- 3% said they apply makeup or shave
NHTSA considers texting among the most concerning distractions, as sending or reading a text can take one’s eyes off the road for up to five seconds, which is roughly the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
The survey found 28% of drivers admit they either can’t change a tire, or never rotate their tires. Regular rotation helps ensure even wear, which in turn impacts a car’s ride and noise level, as well as the tire’s longevity, Hankook says. Experts recommend rotating tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,050 to 12,880 km) driven.
Millennials are most likely to know how to change a tire, with only 12% saying they can’t, while 61% own the required tire jack to do it, the survey showed. Nearly two out of every three drivers (64%), regardless of age, say they own a tire jack, making it one of the top three car maintenance tools drivers own, in addition to a tire pressure gauge (65%) and a set of jumper cables (67%).
The Hankook survey revealed that one in 10 drivers failed their first driving test, and several others still have habits that might not earn them passing marks. Despite it being the most stressful and practiced part of the driving test for many, 13% of drivers today say they can’t parallel park. Another 14% say they brake too harshly or turn too fast, with Gen Z more than twice as likely to admit they turn too fast compared to older generations.
“Our latest Gauge Survey indicated drivers are eager to hit the road again, and as we do, it is increasingly important to ensure that vehicles are maintained for top performance and safety,” saysJJ Park, director-marketing strategy, Hankook Tire America. “To help avoid any unforeseen bumps in the road, check your tires before heading out and take your vehicle in for a full inspection if it's been parked for a while. No matter how far you’re driving, it’s always a good time to keep safety top of mind.”
The latest data from the Hankook Tire Gauge Index can be found at TechAndTread.com.