From Tire Review
Michelin and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) have joined forces to launch a new campaign – Beyond the Driving Test – aimed at raising awareness of the importance of tire maintenance and safety in driver’s education courses.
“This campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of tire maintenance and tire safety and start a national conversation on the topic of teens and tire safety,” the tiremaker told Tire Review. “We’re making resources available to help fill the gap in driver’s education on beyondthedrivingtest.com. At the same time, we’ll start working with national and state groups to meet our goal of 50 by 2020 – to have all 50 states include some form of tire safety information in their driver’s education curricula by 2020.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, automobile accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens in America with more than 5,000 deaths annually. In addition, of the 2.2 million vehicle accidents a year, 12 percent involve inexperienced drivers and tire-related issues, Michelin said, citing the NHTSA.
“Teenagers in this country are dying in car accidents or are involved in car crashes that are preventable and require only very simple behavior changes,” said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Michelin North America is committed to helping lead change and to get our young drivers the training they need.”
In order to better understand driver’s education in the country, Michelin and FIA commissioned a survey of 1,000 teens and their parents about driver’s education. The survey found that 49 percent of teens and 47 percent of parents believed that driver’s education prepared teens to drive.
FIA and Michelin also conducted an in-depth audit of driver’s education curricula in all 50 states and found that only 16 states require tire safety information and classroom time devoted to vehicle Maintenance.
“Tires are the only parts of a car that touch the road, so it makes sense that driving safety begins with tire maintenance,” said Selleck. “Driver’s education today has done many things well; however, it has generally ignored some key safety facts – driving with unsafe or improperly inflated tires – that can be life threatening.”
In the short term, Michelin and FIA are working to make new resources available to help teens and parents brush up on car and tire maintenance skills. Among the materials available is a downloadable glovebox kit with tips of what to check before driving, including tires, brake lights and wipers. A teen-to-teen YouTube campaign is also in the works, Michelin said.
In the longer term, the campaign calls for all 50 states to include tire safety information in their official driver’s education materials by the year 2020, Michelin said.
The tiremaker also noted the company plans to host a Beyond the Driving Test Summit in 2015, to help build recognition of the issue at a national level.
For more about the study as well as access education resources, visit beyondthedrivingtest.com.