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Gear Up, Head Out

Do’s and don’ts for a successful summer road trip.

Summer brings to mind the image of a convertible with the top down and an open road. Summer is a time for pumping up the music and hitting the road.As drivers gear up to head out, Hankook Tire outlined do’s and don’ts for a smooth road trip.

Don’t: Leave the roof rack on
Popular summer destinations often call for some extra equipment, be it mountain bikes, surfboards or kayaks. Many vehicles require a roof rack to transport these items … and, according to the latest Hankook Gauge Index Survey, 40% of drivers have one. Of that, 52% of drivers leave the rack on at all times, as opposed to only keeping the roof rack on when transporting the item it carries. However, it’s better for fuel efficiency to remove the rack unless there’s a use for it.

Do: Pick a peppy playlist
The survey revealed that more than half (55%) of drivers will get behind the wheel for longer than 50 miles if they’re heading to a music festival or concert. That goes to show that people are driven to travel for experiences and that for many, live music is a key ingredient for a fun summer. Music can also help keep the attitude in the car upbeat, no matter what hour of the trip it is. For the ultimate summer road trip, drivers should curate a variety of playlists ahead of time for every mood and be sure to switch through them before sliding the car into drive—or hand it off to the passenger and let them play DJ.

Don’t: Let the gas light turn on
Hankook found nearly half of drivers (49%) noted that filling up the gas tank is their number one checklist item before any long road trip. They’re keen to save money at the same time. In fact, the Gauge revealed that most Americans (80%) will drive up to 10 miles out of their way to save money on a tank of gas … and one in 10 (11%) will drive over 21 miles, which can get pretty risky when that fuel light comes on. While every vehicle varies on how far it has left after the light goes on, it is wise to avoid it altogether and plan your rest stops accordingly.

Speaking of rest stops, gas station convenience stores are called that for a reason—they do make for easy pit stops along the highway—but not everyone opts for convenience when deciding where to pull over. The price of gas is the number one influencing factor for drivers determining where to stop for gas on a long road trip (41%). The convenience factor comes in second as 36% say the most convenient location is the biggest determining factor on where they will fill up.

Do: Check your tires
Hankook found that two-thirds of Americans consider checking their tires—either the pressure or the tread depth—as one of the most important to-dos before heading out on any long trip. Consider checking the tread depth a few days in advance, to allow for ample time to swing by the local tire shop for any necessary repairs, rotations or replacements.

For those who do need to switch out the tires, it’s important to consider the destination and driving habits before making the purchase. It can also be helpful to keep an eye on any rebates, promotions or sales to capitalize on the best deal. After all, a little extra pocket money could mean a few more ice cream cones at the beach, or an extra soda during that summer road trip pit stop!