European Drivers Clueless about Road Safety

While drivers across Europe think that tires are very important to road safety, many of them don’t know the importance of picking the right tires for the right conditions, or of undertaking basic checks and maintenance, according to a new survey from Goodyear Dunlop.

European motorists put having correct tires on their car second only to not drink driving in terms of its importance to road safety, with 82% of respondents stating that ‘having tires in good condition and properly inflated’ was ‘very important’ to their safety when driving.

Unfortunately, the survey reveals, stating that tires are important doesn’t necessarily mean that drivers have crucial knowledge about tires. Or that they put this knowledge into practice.

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Meanwhile, in a major development related to road safety, automaker Lexus is working on an idea of a future car that will never have an accident.

The company is using an advanced driving simulator to enable its engineers to design technology that will help make driving safer. (Read: Can there be a No-Accident Car?)

The Goodyear Dunlop survey results suggest that many drivers underestimate the link between tire choice and road safety: one respondent in three admitted knowing ‘little or nothing’ of the way tires will influence their stopping distance or impact their grip on the road.

One in three drivers confirmed they change every year to winter tires when it’s appropriate to do so, but even of those who drive in cold, snow and ice conditions and claim to be aware of the importance of winter tires, one in five admit they never switch.

That’s for tire choice, how about tire maintenance?

The survey says 73% of EU respondents claim to know the appropriate tire pressure for different driving conditions, but almost half of the people surveyed didn’t know when exactly to check tire pressure (when the tires are cold).

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Moreover, more than one respondent in three admitted they continue to drive as normal on worn tires, which tire experts consider a major safety risk.

“This survey on tires and road safety reveals some of the worrying driving practices we all need to address to make our roads safer places,” said Tom Delforge, director of Communications EMEA at Goodyear Dunlop.

“It also shows a number of road safety risks that can be addressed by promoting the right tire choice, building more awareness and encouraging better maintenance.”

The study was carried out by APCO Insight on behalf of “Goodyear Dunlop Europe”.

In the study, 3,500 drivers were surveyed across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK from 31 August to 9 September 2010. Interviews were conducted online in the local language of each country. The survey results were released Friday, Nov. 5.

Photo/Video Courtesy: Goodyear Dunlop

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Rakesh Raman