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.
``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,'' Mr. Andretti said. ``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. The ``M.A.R.I.O.S.'' curriculum is available online at www.tiresafety.com under the ``Driving Tips'' tab.
``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.''