NEW YORK — Michelin North America Inc., together with the Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA), has achieved a milestone in their drive to improve road safety, getting administrators in all 50 states to commit to include information about tire safety in state-mandated training materials for new drivers.
Michelin and the FIA have been pursuing this goal since 2014 when they launched "Beyond the Driving Test," a program aimed at persuading traffic-safety regulators in every state to include information about tread depth and tire pressure in their mandatory training materials for teen drivers.
At the time, only a handful of states included this basic information.
Crashes remain the No. 1 killer of teens in America, Michelin said, with recent federal safety data showing 12 percent of crashes involving inexperienced drivers could be attributed to circumstances involving improper tire maintenance.
"In the beginning, Michelin and FIA described our ambition as '50 by '20,' with the hopes of securing these commitments from every state by 2020," said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America.
"Our campaign found support with some key organizations in an active and fervent traffic-safety community, and their involvement made it possible to complete our mission more than two years ahead of schedule," Mr. Selleck said at a press conference today in New York ahead of the Formula E Championship race scheduled for July 15 through the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Michelin's Beyond the Driving Test program was conducted in the U.S. as an expression of the FIA's global "#3500Lives" campaign, which calls attention to the lives lost on roadways every day around the world, and especially deaths among younger drivers.
Mr. Selleck took time to single out the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the Governors Highway Safety Association for their assistance in helping move the initiative forward.
"The number of young people who lose their lives in avoidable road crashes is unacceptable," FIA President Jean Todt said. "We need to change road users' attitudes and promote safe behaviors on our roads.
"Education programs and awareness-raising campaigns are important safety measures that deserve continuing support by state and local governments in America," he added. Mr. Todt also is United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety.
Beyond the Driving Test has reached nearly 1,000 driving instructors and more than 200,000 students with tire-safety messages to date, Michelin said.
Since securing commitments from all 50 states, 26 states already have published new training materials with tire-safety information.
Beyond The Driving Test has earned 20 national and regional public relations distinctions as well as the PR News CSR Hall of Fame.