Most Americans thinking about road trips as summer reaches climax

road trip
Labor Day traffic in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Labor Day weekend is less than two weeks away and that means a lot of Americans, up to three-quarters, in fact, will be on road trips.

In a recent survey of 1,000 of your fellow citizens, found that 40 percent of drivers definitely planned to take a road trip by Labor Day and another 34 percent were considering it.

The reasons for road trips are varied, but they create a sort of perfect storm of activity.

“Whether it’s a trip back to college, a last-minute Labor Day escape or an end-of-summer getaway, Americans find that August is a great time to hit the road,” according to the car shopping website. (Also, see “Oh, the Things That You’ll Pack!” infographic on the Santander Consumer USA blog.)

“The great American road trip is alive and well, with many drivers planning to go the distance [500-plus miles], snap selfies and pump their favorite tunes,” said

Among other results of the survey:

More than 92 percent would be willing to drive up to 500 miles for a vacation, and nearly half of those drivers would travel cross country.

Nearly half of drivers with children – 45 percent – indicated they would threaten to turn the family car around at least once on an end-of-summer road trip.

Thirty-four percent of road trippers will take up to 10 selfies on their journey, although urges travelers not to attempt driving selfies. (Learn more about the dangers of that phenomenon in “Why you should be worried about #drivingselfies” on the Santander Consumer USA blog.)

Only about a quarter of road trippers say they require GPS, music and travel companions – 27 percent, 24 percent and 25 percent, respectively – to head on down the highway. (For more on traveling music, see the post, “Songs and bands for road trips,” on the RoadLoans blog.)

Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents indicated they could last more than an hour without checking their phones while on a road trip.

The survey also found that 80 percent of drivers surveyed considered road trips when they shopped for their current vehicle, with cargo space being the primary attractor at 22 percent.

“It’s not surprising to us that more than 80 percent of respondents had road trips in mind when they were car shopping,” said Avi Steinlauf, CEO. “Road trips are the ultimate test for any new vehicle. If the car can be reliable and comfortable while handling all the loading, unloading and hauling with adequate fuel efficiency, then it’ll definitely make a great long-term vehicle.”

Meanwhile, make sure your trip goes as planned by reading our infographic, “Summer Driving: Putting your car, truck or SUV to the test,” also on the Santander Consumer USA blog, before you go.

And happy traveling.

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