Jun 4, 2014 Nashville, TN

Bridgestone Survey Shows Four In Five Americans Take Summer Road Trips

Flexibility cited as a top reason travelers choose to go by car, but preparations are key for vehicles and children alike

Summer travel season is officially underway, and for most Americans that means packing a bag and hitting the road. Eighty-three percent indicate they take at least one summer road trip, according to a survey fielded by Bridgestone Americas in May 2014 among 2,000 U.S. adults.*

Cost is widely regarded as the leading reason Americans choose to drive rather than fly, but those who take summer road trips say road travel has many additional benefits. A top response, 58 percent choose road travel over air because it gives them greater flexibility. Other leading reasons summer road travelers choose to travel by vehicle rather than plane are because their destination is too close to fly (44 percent), they enjoy driving (38 percent), and they want to avoid potential flight cancellations (23 percent).

“Our research confirms flexibility is king – it allows summer travelers to stay in control of their busy lives, even when they’re on vacation,” said Erik Seidel, Vice President of Branding for Bridgestone Americas. “In the land of Route 66, the Ventura Highway and Florida’s scenic route US 1, we know consumers enjoy the experience only car travel can provide, and we expect this trend to continue.”

On average, U.S. adults are willing to drive more than 500 miles on a summer road trip. When asked what could ruin a summer road trip, Americans said a fender bender (74 percent) and a flat tire (49 percent) were the top two mishaps. While a fender bender can be unpreventable, being stranded with a flat tire is something drivers can avoid with the new DriveGuard tire line from Bridgestone. DriveGuard tires allow drivers to travel up to 50 miles at up to 50 miles per hour if a puncture or loss of pressure should occur.**

Preparation is the key to success for any summer road trip, and drivers are taking time to prepare their vehicles for the journey. Four out of five (81 percent) of those who take summer road trips perform vehicle maintenance to ensure their vehicles are ready. Of those who perform vehicle maintenance before hitting the road this summer:

  • 84 percent will check tire pressures
  • 82 percent will check fluid levels
  • 60 percent will change the oil

For parents,Δ  preparation includes more than just proper vehicle maintenance. Eighty-three percent of parents who take summer road trips pack snacks and 67 percent pack entertainment for their summer drive. There does not appear to be a correlation between preparedness and children’s contentment, as nearly three-quarters of parents who take a summer road trip with their kids can’t seem to avoid hearing three phrases from their children:

  • “I have to go to the bathroom” (74 percent)
  • “I’m hungry” (73 percent)
  • “Are we there yet?” (72 percent)

To learn more about the survey findings, contact Rachel Withers, Communications Manager for Bridgestone Americas, at 877-201-2373. For information about DriveGuard tires from Bridgestone or to find a Bridgestone retailer, consumers should visit www.DriveGuard.com.

Summer Road Trip Infographic

*Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. from May 2-6, 2014 among 2,049 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Rachel Withers,withersrachel@bfusa.com.

**Repairability of DriveGuard tires depends on the tire damage, amount of pressure loss, and vehicle operating conditions.  Contact a Bridgestone retailer for details.

ΔParents refers to U.S. adults with children under 18 in the household who take summer road trips.