sandals-342672_960_720Labor Day is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and with low gas prices and record setting heatwaves, Hankook Tire expects crowded roads to celebrate the unofficial end of summer. In the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index, Hankook found that driving is the preferred method of travel during the summer, according to 73% of Americans, and also polled Americans on their travel preferences, behaviors and even frustrations ahead of the Labor Dayweekend.

When deciding on a destination, Americans prefer to go where the water is. More than half of Americans (55%) voted the beach as the summer destination they would drive farthest to, followed by a lake (29%) and a water park (13%).

Before you hit the highway, make sure you know your “road trip role.” Hankook found that most Americans would actually prefer to be in the driver’s seat:

  • 44% of Americans would rather drive than be a passenger. That number increases to 56% for men, while only a quarter of women (25%) prefer to drive on road trips.
  • One-quarter (25%) of Americans like to be “the navigator,” responsible for directions and locating stops along the way.
  • Other roles are less desirable, such as “snack supplier” (16%), or “music DJ” (12%).
  • The least desirable job is the entertainer (8%), responsible for keeping the kids and other passengers happy throughout the entire drive.

Although driving was selected as the most preferred way of getting around this summer, it also comes with the biggest travel frustrations. Americans believe getting stuck in traffic is the biggest travel frustration (71%), ahead of long lines at the airport (24%), and not getting a seat on the train (5%).

How do you stay calm, cool and collected while stuck in traffic? Make sure you are in a large and comfortable car. Close to half of Americans (48%) chose an SUV/truck as the ideal car to rent for a summer road trip over a luxury vehicle (26%), convertible (10%), sports car (8%), and off-road vehicle (8%).

No matter where you are going or what vehicle you are driving, nothing is more important than driver safety. All drivers should have a checklist of basic automotive routines before going on any long drive that includes checking your tire pressure, oil and spare tire. While 90% of Americans check their vehicle’s gas level before leaving, more than one quarter of American’s don’t check their oil or tire pressure, and close to half of Americans (45%) don’t check to be sure their spare tire is ready to use if needed.

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