Bridgestone findings reveal risk to UK drivers

Bridgestone is embarking on a tyre safety drive with motorists across the UK, after 81% admitted to never checking their tyres and only 14% described them as the most important safety feature on their cars.(1)

A survey amongst 2,000 drivers revealed that despite tyres being the only contact points between a vehicle and the road – and responsible for 159 deaths or serious injuries from defective tyres related accidents2 – the majority of motorists didn’t deem them to be as important as airbags (24%).

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% not knowing that driving on illegal tyres is an extremely dangerous act, only 31% of motorists admitting to being well informed on road safety matters and just 12% checking their tyre treads once a fortnight, which is the recommended period.

The Bridgestone results tie in with a recording of 4,596 total casualties from tyre-related incidents on roads in the past years2 and there is an estimated 10 million illegal tyres on Britain’s roads each year2

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 activities planned for the future.

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% 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, said: “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.”

Bridgestone is reminding motorists 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’ tyres3. Under-inflated tyres will also have an impact on stopping distances4, as will cars with poorly maintained brakes.

As a premium tyre manufacturer, Bridgestone knows the importance of superior quality and 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% of the European market4.

Specifically, the Bridgestone Turanza All Season 6 excels in providing Outstanding braking performance across the seasons, exceptional snow performance and superior mileage, offering a 20% improvement compared to its predecessor, the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 EVO4.

Bridgestone’s road safety research represents part of its mission to continue to provide social and customer value as a sustainable solutions company. It also embodies Bridgestone’s E8 Commitment – a set of eight areas (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, Empowerment) which provide a compass to guide their strategic priorities, decision making and actions throughout every area of the business and operations.

Bridgestone’s road safety research provides Ease, by bringing comfort and peace of mind to mobility life and Extension, by committing to nonstop mobility and innovation that keeps people and the world moving ahead.

  1. Research carried out online by Research Without Barriers (February 2023) comprising 2,000 UK car owners. 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).
  2. 2023 Stats Tyre Safety the Case for Action

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