Thank you for being a car? Majority of Americans consider their car a friend

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A new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cooper Tires revealed that 64 percent of Americans consider their car a friend. Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash)

Americans spend an average of 18 full days in their car every year, according to new research.

The mind-bending new statistic emerged in a study of 2,000 American car owners, which found that — whether it’s commuting to and from work or taking the kids to school — Americans say they spend, on average, eight hours and 22 minutes in their car every week.

The study also found, among other things, that the bond between people and their cars is actually quite strong.

Do you consider your car more than just a car? Well, you’re not alone, because 64 percent of Americans say they actually consider their car a friend.

The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cooper Tires, also revealed that a lot of us would actually substitute our own distress in place of our car’s distress.

For example, over a third of Americans would rather themselves get a scratch than their car, while another 15 percent would rather break a bone in their own body than have their car breakdown.

One in five (21 percent) would rather spend an entire day in jail than have their car get totaled, and a wild 13 percent of Americans would actually break up with their partner before parting with their car.

That’s love — and according to the poll, nearly half of Americans (45 percent) have shed real tears when it finally came time to part ways with their car, while nearly 44 percent have named their car. Some of the more unusual names include “The Great Pumpkin,” “Mr. Toad” and “Carmen Elantra.”

And getting rid of a beloved car is something we never really let go of, as over half (52 percent) still regret getting rid of a previous car they loved.

With spending so much time in our cars, it should come as no surprise that seven in 10 Americans say they have at least one fond memory from their car.

A lot of respondents said they would always cherish bringing home their baby from the hospital in their car, while others recalled road trips and vacations, with one respondent saying, “Me and my best friend traveled everywhere [in my first car,] the beach, vacations, meeting up with friends. We spent more time in that car than we did at home.”

“Our cars are such an integral and sometimes emotional part of our lives and this recent survey shows how much we rely on our vehicles,” said Jessica Egerton, the Director of Brand Development for Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. “For those of us that want to ‘do right’ by our cars, it’s important to make sure that all the components, including tires, are well maintained so we aren’t jeopardizing our vehicles’ performance or safety.”

Given how much time we spend inside our cars and how many memories we have with them, it’s safe to assume that Americans are pretty on top of maintenance and repairs, right?

Not exactly. According to the results, only 59 percent of Americans say they often perform scheduled maintenance and safety checks.

Interestingly, one in three Americans (31 percent) say that when it comes to their car maintenance, they think about their tires least.

“While it can be easy to overlook tires, it’s important to remember that your tires are the only thing connecting your car to the road,” continued Egerton. “Therefore, we encourage everyone to take a few minutes regularly to check the condition of their tires to ensure your safety while driving.”

NINE OF THE BEST MEMORIES AMERICANS HAVE IN THEIR CAR

  • “My first date with my wife.”
  • “A road trip with my brother to the west coast.”
  • “Bringing my baby home from the hospital.”
  • “Cranking Lynyrd Skynyrd on my 8-track player going to Memphis Tennessee in 1975.”
  • “I asked my wife to marry me at a drive-in movie theater.”
  • “My fondest memories were during the Christmas holidays when I’d take my children riding out to look at all the Christmas decorations while riding around the neighborhoods in my car.”
  • “That feeling of freedom driving around as a teen.”
  • “When I picked up my best friend at the airport after not seeing her for 6 years.”
  • “I had my first kiss in my car.”

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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