Nov 18 , 2020 Nashville, Tenn.

Amid COVID-19, Bridgestone Survey Finds U.S. Drivers Plan to Hit the Road This Winter

bridgestone tire in the snow

  • A Bridgestone survey reveals one in three drivers nationwide plan to travel 500 miles or more on road trips this winter.
  • One in three drivers who travelled by car to their holiday destinations in 2019 will do so again in 2020.
  • Half of drivers who live in regions that frequently experience winter weather have lost vehicle control due to snow and ice, but less than a third of drivers in winter regions equip their vehicles with winter tires.

As the winter season approaches, drivers have signaled their road travel will not slow down despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A new survey from Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) reveals more than one in three drivers plan to take road trips totaling 500 miles or more this season, and an additional one in three drivers who travelled by car to their holiday destinations in 2019 will do so again in 2020.

“Winter tires are essential safety features for anyone regularly driving in winter conditions,” said Jeff Cook, executive director, Marketing Strategy and Product Portfolio Planning, Bridgestone Americas. “Just like the soles of our shoes, tires are designed for different performance needs. Bridgestone encourages all drivers to ensure they are arming their vehicles with the right tires for their lifestyle and travel plans this season.”

According to a survey conducted by Bridgestone, more than half (54%) of drivers who live in regions that frequently experience winter weather have lost control of their vehicle due to snow and ice. Yet less than a third (28%) equip their vehicles with winter tires, which are designed to provide better traction, braking and handling on snow, ice and slush. Special rubber technology and an optimized tread pattern allow winter tires to remain flexible in low temperatures, dig deep into snow and channel away water and slush.

When it comes to driving in snow and ice, more than half (56%) of drivers who live in regions that experience frequent winter weather say they are “very confident.” Yet the majority believe several common myths about winter driving, including that four-wheel drive makes stopping in snow more effective, and that warming up your car prior to driving improves its performance. However, Bridgestone reminds drivers winter tires can provide the increased traction, braking and handling drivers need to conquer wintry conditions and are important for safer driving during the holiday season.

The survey by Bridgestone also found three in four (76%) drivers have lost visibility due to wintry conditions or windshield clouding. To ensure a safe ride this winter, Bridgestone urges drivers to check four important vehicle components at the beginning of the season:

  • Blades – Replace worn wiper blades with new blades to increase visibility. Correct windshield wipers should sit firmly against the windshield and apply even pressure.
  • Brakes – An old set of brakes can make stopping on icy roads difficult. Get them checked by an automotive service technician before the weather gets cold.
  • Battery – Even new batteries can lose up to 60% of their current in freezing weather. Have the battery tested at the beginning of the winter season.
  • Blizzaks – For drivers experiencing a regular pattern of ice and snow, winter tires are important. The Bridgestone Blizzak winter tire line features the latest technological advances for enhanced safety in winter conditions. 


Winter tires are essential safety features for anyone regularly driving in winter conditions. Just like the soles of our shoes, tires are designed for different performance needs. Bridgestone encourages all drivers to ensure they are arming their vehicles with the right tires for their lifestyle and travel plans this season.
Jeff Cook
executive director, Marketing Strategy and Product Portfolio Planning, Bridgestone Americas

Survey Methodology:

This research was designed to measure consumer attitudes and behaviors related to driving and travel plans for the upcoming winter months (December 2020 through February 2021). The survey was fielded through Dynata’s PopResearch service that allows rapid sampling of a nationally-representative group of consumers. This nationwide panel consists of consumers who have opted in to take opinion polls in return for a modest financial incentive (either cash payments or other rewards, arranged and delivered by the panel as part of the membership agreement). A total of 1,000 completed surveys were collected, providing a geographically and demographically representative sample of the US population. This report presents data from the complete data set and a subset of the data set, representing the 397 respondents who indicated that they live in a region that experiences regular winter weather. 

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:

Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, a global leader providing sustainable mobility and advanced solutions. Bridgestone Americas develops, manufactures, and markets a diverse portfolio of original equipment and replacement tires, tire-centric solutions, mobility solutions, and other rubber-associated and diversified products that deliver social value and customer value. Guided by its global corporate social responsibility commitment, Our Way to Serve, Bridgestone is dedicated to shaping a sustainable future of mobility and improving the way people move, live, work and play.