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Maintenance Ranks Low On List Of Canadian Road Trip Rituals

National Canadian Tire survey reveals Canadian attitudes as drivers prepare to hit the road

  • Only half of Canadian drivers - and one third of drivers 18-34 - say vehicle maintenance is the most important thing they'll do before they hit the road
  • More Canadian parents are worried about driving with cranky kids than having their car break down

TORONTO, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - For many Canadians, the end of snow and the return of warm weather means only one thing - it's road trip season.  From camping and cottage trips, to extended drives for visits with family and friends, Canadians are packing up their cars and getting ready to hit the road.  With the May long weekend - also known as the "unofficial start of road trip season" - fast approaching, Canadian Tire is reminding drivers to have their vehicles inspected before heading out, particularly after this year's long and punishing winter.

According to a national survey conducted on behalf of Canadian Tire, almost half of all respondents (47 per cent) confess that a maintenance check is not the most important thing they do before getting on the road, with drivers aged 18-34 being the group least likely to have their car inspected (33 per cent). And yet, most drivers surveyed claimed that their biggest concern was their vehicle breaking down on the way to their destination (24 per cent). Drivers aged 18-34 were also more concerned about stocking up on snacks before leaving (13 per cent vs. 5 per cent nationally).

"Without any doubt, the most effective way to stay safe on the road this summer and avoid any surprises is to ensure that your car is in good working order before your head out on a long road trip," said Graham Jeffrey, Associate Vice President, Automotive, Canadian Tire.  "So, if you don't want to find yourself on the side of the road dealing with a maintenance issue, think safety before snacks and hit your service centre."

In addition to lackluster safety habits, Canadian Tire's 2014 survey reveals that although Canadian drivers place a premium on comfort, they fail to recognize that one of the most effective ways to stay comfortable on long drives is to minimize car clutter and dirt. Despite wear and tear from this year's unrelenting winter, 56 per cent of respondents confessed to having never or only once in two months cleaned their car this winter, with parents of children under 18 admitting to being the worst offenders (66 per cent).  Inside the car, it's not much better, with 35 per cent of Canadian drivers describing themselves as "Casual Cup Holder Custodians," cleaning sporadically and focusing on tidying high traffic areas like cup holders, back seats and trunks.

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