More than 4 in 5 UK drivers admits to never checking their tyres – in response, the tyre maker is asking drivers to ‘Become a Bridgestone Road Safety Hero’ in its latest campaign
With the approach of more treacherous driving conditions in autumn and winter, tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is urging motorists to check the condition of their tyres. The tyre giant said the “deflating” findings of its latest survey of 2,000 UK drivers reveal so many drivers are currently taking by failing to check the condition of their tyres regularly. The survey suggests that many drivers simply do not understand tyres’ impact on the safety of their car.
Among 2,000 drivers surveyed, 81 per cent admitted to never checking their tyres and only 14 per cent described them as the most important safety feature on their cars. The tyre being the only contact point between a vehicle and the road – and responsible for 159 deaths or serious injuries from defective tyres related accidents, according to official figures quoted in TyreSafe.org’s ‘Tyre Safety: the Case for Action’ document. The majority of motorists surveyed deemed tyres to be less important than airbags, despite tyres being used constantly as a safety-critical item that needs to be monitored. The results coincide with TyreSafe’s National Tyre Safety Month taking place throughout October, which aims to raise awareness about the benefits and importance of regular tyre checks.
Other headline statistics from Bridgestone’s research include 54 per cent not knowing that driving on illegal tyres is an extremely dangerous act, only 31 per cent of motorists admitting to being well informed on road safety matters and just 12 per cent checking their tyre treads once a fortnight, the recommended interval between checks.
TyreSafe quotes figures of 4,596 total casualties from tyre-related incidents on roads in the past years, while there are an estimated 10 million illegal tyres on Britain’s roads each year.
Bridgestone Road Safety Hero campaign
Bridgestone is embarking on a new campaign ‘Become a Bridgestone Road Safety Hero’ starting with their own employees but also want to spread the message far and wide. For example, Bridgestone is planning on conducting hundreds of free tyre checks next month, with its Bridgestone road safety team visiting Roadchef’s Norton Caines Services on the M6 Toll on October 19 to assist motorists, with similar future activities also planned.
Bridgestone’s North Region vice president Andrea Manenti said: “We remain surprised that tyres aren’t seen as the number one safety device on a car in the minds of so many motorists. In fact, they are seen as less important airbags, which often go off as a result of defective tyres. The results show us that there is still a lot of education needed around the topic of tyres.
“For example, the research also revealed that only 46 per cent of motorists would call out a friend if they knew they were driving on illegal tyres, when the very act of doing this could be the difference between life and death. With sudden changes in weather experienced in the UK, it is paramount that we remind motorists of the importance of tyre checks.”
Stuart Lovatt, TyreSafe chair, added: “This research by Bridgestone reinforces the concerns we have on driver understanding and attitudes towards tyre safety. Regrettably, road users often take their tyres granted for and don’t appreciate just how vital they are. Tyres are unique in being the one component which determines how well a vehicle accelerates, brakes and steers. We encourage them to remember to ACT – check Air pressure, Condition and Tread.”
Higher quality tyres are safer to use
Bridgestone quotes the RAC, which suggests that cars equipped with budget tyres can take an extra 14 metres to stop in wet conditions when driving at 70mph compared to cars with ‘premium brand’ tyres – there is certainly a wide variance in quality when it comes to the tyres available in the UK market. WhatTyre’s tyre search can help drivers identify better products via its proprietary Tyrescore algorithm.
What is certain is that under-inflated tyres will negatively impact a car’s stopping distances, as will cars with poorly maintained brakes.
Premium tyre manufacturer, Bridgestone has recently unveiled its new flagship touring tyre, the Bridgestone Turanza All Season 6, which is designed to perform all year round and enable drivers to feel confident in unpredictable weather. The launch follows a strong market growth towards all-season tyres witnessed over the past five years – with the segment now representing 21 per cent of the European market.
Bridgestone says the Turanza All Season 6 excels in braking performance across the seasons, offering a 20% improvement compared to its predecessor, the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 EVO.
Bridgestone’s survey was carried out by Research Without Barriers in February 2023, with 2,000 UK car owners questioned. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (2018).