Car wash

(Credit: Erik Mclean on Unsplash)

NEW YORK — A new survey finds Americans might want to start their “spring cleaning” a little earlier this year. A third of drivers say their cars are so full of junk, there’s no room for anyone to sit except for them.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 drivers finds 31 percent of American vehicles are completely overwhelmed with random stuff. This mess isn’t just confined to the inside of the car either. Thirty-five percent of drivers don’t know how often they should have their car washed. One in five (19%) haven’t cleaned their car in the past three months and 10 percent don’t even remember the last time they cleaned their ride at all.

Over half the poll (53%) have spilled a drink on the floor or upholstery. As for other car-related mishaps, 44 percent have had their clothing get caught and ripped in the door. Another 36 percent say they have been burnt by hot seat belts in the summer and 59 percent struggle with slick roads in the winter.

To solve these problems, respondents have tried everything from keeping salt or kitty litter in their trunk for snowy days to driving with all the windows down during summer scorchers. Americans even rely on their car’s cruise control and stability control features whenever needed, all in an effort to work around driving inconveniences.

How drivers adapt in the worst seasons to drive

Seasonal Car HacksCommissioned by CarShield, the survey finds that despite 51 percent of respondents favoring the summer months, drivers say they go to extreme measures to avoid having a hot, stuffy car. Forty-six percent of the poll said they would rather shave their heads bald than sit in a hot car.

Winter, on the other hand, is hated by 68 percent of drivers. More than seven in 10 Americans (71%) said they’ve had a “close call” while driving in icy conditions. The top moves to avoid major accidents include steering into their drift to course-correct (54%), shifting into a lower gear (38%), and safely using the emergency brake to come to a complete stop (28%).

“Drivers who fare the best in less-than-ideal seasonal road conditions, are the ones who take the time to anticipate the challenges they will meet and prepare for them,” says Brandon Evans, Senior Editor of CarShield, in a statement. “This includes making sure there is enough time to get to destinations without being rushed, preventing drivers from making risky driving decisions in poor driving conditions.”

Gearing up cars with safety in mind

Seasonal Car HacksNearly two in five Americans (39%) have made major modifications to their vehicles to make them safer. Tire upgrades and suspension modifications are popular for drivers. One respondent says they even modified their hazard lights to be brighter and more visible in an emergency.

In addition to making modifications to their cars, drivers have a number of items on-hand in case of an emergency too. These include tire jacks (51%), jumper cables (47%), and extra masks (42%). Six in 10 Americans have a savings fund set up for any car-related emergency.

This comes in handy as 82 percent of drivers have had to pay for their own car repairs out of pocket. On average, drivers pay $373 a month out of pocket for auto repairs. Besides insurance, 58 percent of cars on the road today are no longer covered by their manufacturer’s warranty.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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