NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 1, 2005) — Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) and race driver Mario Andretti are teaming up for a new driver safety education campaign that focuses, in part, on proper tire maintenance.
The program includes a series of television and print ads in which Mr. Andretti stresses the importance of proper tire inflation and maintenance and urges drivers to check their tires every month, according to Nashville-based BFS. It also features a curriculum that encourages young drivers to learn their “M.A.R.I.O.S.”—Mario Andretti's Real Information On Safety. That aspect of the program includes taking care of your tires, wearing your seat belt, driving alert and defensively and never drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
“I'm proud of Firestone for having this commitment to safety and stepping up to provide drivers with life-saving safety information. I'm honored that they asked me to serve as spokesman for this important campaign,” Mr. Andretti said. “After more than 40 years in racing, I know we all have a responsibility to make sure our tires are in good condition and are properly inflated. We also have to be alert—not distracted or impaired behind the wheel—and we must always buckle up.”
BFS said it has committed more than $15 million on the campaign over the next three years. Besides the ads and safety curriculum, the program includes a complete revision and re-launch of the company's public service Web site, www.tiresafety.com, which sends motorists monthly e-mail reminders to check their tires and contains practical safety information.
Mr. Andretti also will be visiting schools across the country to talk to students about safety and to urge them to learn their “M.A.R.I.O.S,” the tire maker said.
“Teens are just learning to drive and face many distractions, so they are at a very high risk for accidents,” Mr. Andretti said. “We can help educate teens on basic driving safety and help them start to develop healthy driving habits, like checking their tire pressure monthly.”
The “M.A.R.I.O.S.” curriculum—available online at www.tiresafety.com under the “Driving Tips” tab—includes information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov, which urges drivers to know the proper tire inflation pressure for their vehicles' tires. Also included in the curriculum is information from Las Vegas-based Driver's Edge, a nationally recognized teen driver safety program sponsored by Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire L.L.C. (BFNT).
“We've put a great deal of thought into this program to include the best and most useful safety information and to try to reach as many drivers as possible through our outreach and advertising efforts,” said John Gamauf, president of consumer replacement tire for BFNT. “Safety is something we are passionate about. With Mario's help, we're going to work very hard to educate drivers of all ages and equip all motorists with the information they need to stay safe on the roads.”