(BPT) - The backpacks are full, the car pools are set, and the homework is piling up as we continue to transition away from summer and back-to-school. Whether you are walking your child to the bus stop, dragging your teen out of bed or dropping your child off at school, the morning routines for millions of Americans around the country have changed. Hankook Tire recently polled Americans about driving this fall and found that the start of school impacts traffic, morning routines and driver behaviors.
In its latest quarterly Gauge Index, Hankook found that 35 percent of Americans believe the start of school causes more traffic on the roads, which impacts morning commutes. In addition to being slowed down on the road, over 10 percent of Americans reported that it takes longer for them to get out of the door in the morning. If you do find yourself late, it could have implications on others, as one-third (33 percent) of respondents indicated they commute to work with friends, family or colleagues. Along with getting to work, Hankook uncovered other back-to-school trends for the upcoming school year:
Learning to drive
Don’t be surprised if Americans drive like their parents, as the Gauge Index revealed half of all drivers were taught by Mom or Dad. The next most frequent driving teacher is a professional instructor (23 percent), followed by friends (8 percent) and siblings (6 percent). No matter who does the teaching, chances are they’d be called to the head of the class, as 85 percent of drivers are confident they would not be a better driver if someone else taught them.
Everyone has their own habits on the road, both good and bad, but 29 percent of Americans recognized speeding as the most popular bad habit on the road. Talking or texting on the phone (12 percent), changing lanes without using a blinker (9 percent) and not wearing a seatbelt (7 percent) were other bad habits recognized by drivers.
Car color has strong implications on a driver and vehicle’s personality, and Americans are divided in how they choose the color of their vehicle. While 38 percent of respondents indicated they choose the color of their car because it’s their personal favorite, 23 percent of Americans chose the color based on what is the least expensive and another 23 percent choose a color that they think will stay the cleanest. Other factors include keeping the car cool in high temperatures (17 percent) as well as colors that are considered to be “safe” on the road (10 percent).
Back-to-school driving 101
Hankook offers some basic automotive tips to ensure safe and smooth driving this fall.
* Start the season off right with a DIY vehicle audit. Be sure to check your tire pressure, tire tread, oil levels and brake lights. To check your tread, insert a penny into your tire’s tread grooves. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, your tires are worn and you likely need to replace them. If you are in the market for new tires, take advantage of Hankook’s Great Hit Mail-in Rebate, and save up to $100 on premium tires by visiting: www.hankooktire.com/us.
* Have you ever forgot where you parked? If so, you are not alone. The Hankook Gauge Index found 75 percent of people have in fact forgotten where they parked. To avoid having this happen, take a picture of your parking spot or note the lot number or another landmark on your phone.
* While we can forget where we parked, we can also forget what kind of tires are on our car. Make sure your car is running on the right, season-appropriate tires. The Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 is an ideal all-season high performance tire that combines cutting-edge appearance with confident handling, traction and control on dry, wet and wintery roads.