AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2010 – According to a new national survey from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and America’s Byways®, 70 percent of Americans are planning on taking at least one road trip this autumn, and a combination of stable gas prices and abundant scenic routes should contribute to opportunities for weekend road trips or getaways.

The survey, completed by Kelton Research, also finds that most travelers want their journey to be something that is beautiful and unique, not just another trip on a superhighway.  In fact, the overwhelming majority of people (80 percent) would opt for a scenic, touring drive rather than driving directly to their destination.  Unlike summer road trips, which focus on the destinations, fall getaway trips are built upon the overall experience of the journey.

“Our survey showed that 97 percent of Americans planning a fall road trip agree that their overall comfort is the key to enjoying it, so we joined together with America’s Byways to unveil a list of the 50 Most Comfortable Touring Drives,” said Gary Medalis, general manager for Goodyear consumer tires.  “These top 50 touring drives encompass comfort and scenery to enhance the trip and are all within reasonable distance of major metropolitan areas.”

“This fall, for not a lot of money, travelers can skip the superhighways and exit to the smaller roadways to experience some of the best roads America has to offer,” said Derrick Crandall, spokesperson for America’s Byways and president, American Recreation Coalition.  “While there are hundreds of fantastic drives along America’s Byways, we worked with Goodyear to create a list of some of the best, providing Americans with what they told us they are looking for – comfortable, nearby drives that provide scenic and unique landscapes.

50 Most Comfortable Touring Drives

• Delaware River Scenic Byway – New Jersey
• Merritt Parkway – Connecticut
• Great Lakes Seaway Trail – New York, Pennsylvania
• Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway – California 
• Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway – California 
• San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway – California
• Historic Route 66 – Illinois, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma
• Lincoln Highway – Illinois
• Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway – Delaware
• Historic National Road – Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia
• Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina, Virginia
• Journey Through Hallowed Ground – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia
• George Washington Memorial Parkway – Virginia
• Millstone Valley Scenic Byway (New Jersey)
• Baltimore's Historic Charles Street – Maryland
• Woodward Avenue Automotive Heritage Trail – Michigan
• Red Rock Scenic Byway – Arizona
• Stevens Pass Greenway – Washington
• Chinook Scenic Byway – Washington
• Mountains to Sound Greenway – Washington
• Grand Rounds Scenic Byway – Minnesota
• Florida Keys Scenic Highway – Florida
• Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway – Florida
• A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway - Florida
• Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail – Florida
• Lariat Loop Scenic & Historic Byway – Colorado
• Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway - Colorado
• Ohio River Scenic Byway – Ohio, Illinois, Indiana
• Amish Country Byway – Ohio
• Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail – Ohio
• Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Route – Illinois
• Mt. Hood Scenic Byway – Oregon
• West Cascades Scenic Byway – Oregon
• Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway – South Carolina
• Natchez Trace Parkway – Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi
• Connecticut State Route 169 – Connecticut
• Nebo Loop Scenic Byway – Utah
• Loess Hills Scenic Byway – Iowa
• Woodlands Trace – Tennessee, Kentucky
• Selma to Montgomery March Byway – Alabama
• Flint Hills Scenic Byway – Kansas
• Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway – Kansas
• Talladega Scenic Drive – Alabama
• Alabama's Coastal Connection – Alabama
• Las Vegas Strip – Nevada
• Death Valley Scenic Byway – California
• Route 1 – San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway - California
• Santa Fe Trail – New Mexico, Colorado
• Turquoise Trail – New Mexico
• Lincoln Heritage Scenic Byway – Kentucky 

 Additional results from the survey revealed 49 percent of Americans would sacrifice their GPS units, while others (32 percent) would sacrifice music and good gas mileage (29 percent) to experience a comfortable drive.  Americans would even go to extremes to guarantee a satisfying, comfortable drive on a road trip – with 30 percent responding that they would endure the pain of stubbing their toe, or enduring a bee sting (18 percent), or even a root canal (6 percent).

“Despite what some Americans may think, major sacrifices are not necessary to make their driving more comfortable,” said Medalis.  “For those in need of new tires, drivers should consider Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring tires, which are built for a smooth, comfortable ride. These tires help give drivers a refined handling and performance driving experience, and deliver, on average, 20 percent more cushion than standard tires*.”

For more information about America’s Byways, visit www.byways.org. For more information on Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring tires or any tire in Goodyear’s lineup, visit www.goodyeartires.com.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies.  It employs approximately 69,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world.  Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.  For more information about Goodyear, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.

America’s Byways is a collection of 150 distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States.