A new Gauge Index Survey by Hankook Tire found that despite a decade of automotive innovation, one element of driving still leaves something to be desired – drivers’ attitudes.
While 86 percent of Americans say they are better drivers today than they were 10 years ago, most don’t think that makes them nicer on the road: Hankook found that almost two in three (63 percent) say driver etiquette has worsened over the last decade.
In addition, the Gauge revealed that 55 percent of Americans think roads are not as safe as they were 10 years ago – despite the fact that 86 percent say they are a better driver today. While many might jump to the conclusion that cell phones are to blame, 54 percent say that mobile devices and rideshare culture, a byproduct of those devices, have actually had the least impact on their driving this decade. Drivers point instead to gas prices (35 percent) and road congestion (26 percent) as the most impactful factors.
“The results of our latest Gauge survey indicate that safety behind the wheel will continue to impact our roads in the next 10 years,” said Hankook Tire America Corp President Hosung Suh. “As we look towards the next decade, Hankook is committed to both tire and vehicle technology, as well as enhanced safety and performance features that will drive the future of automotive forward.”
The Next 10 Years
If there’s one thing drivers can certainly expect in the decade to come, it’s that innovation will leave its mark on multiple areas of the automotive industry. Seventy-two percent of drivers expect that electric or self-driving vehicle technology will be the most widely used automotive innovation by the end of the 2020s.
“As Americans look for more innovation in the overall driving experience, it will be increasingly important to ensure that every element of the vehicle is seeing innovation at the same speed,” added Suh. “In the last decade, Hankook began developing tires with the necessary technology to accommodate next-gen vehicles, such as our Kinergy AS ev tire. We’re steering towards an even greater intersection of technology and tire development in the years to come.”
Drivers also expect those same technologies to see the most development in the next 10 years. Hankook found that nearly half (49 percent) of Americans anticipate that self-driving and electric vehicle innovation will improve the most this coming decade. In third place came driver assistance technology, such as lane-keeping assist and automatic parallel parking (23 percent), further underscoring the growing expectation that technology will to continue to impact the experience behind the wheel.