Motorists are Well-Intentioned but Lack Tyre Knowledge – Goodyear Survey
A study carried out by Goodyear in the UK and six other European countries has confirmed what most of us already suspected – while the majority of road users are aware of the important role tyres play in road safety, many remain in the dark when it comes to tyre purchasing and maintenance. A total of 3,500 people were interviewed for the survey, both here and in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain.
Respondents identified fitting correct tyres to a vehicle as the second only to not drinking and driving in terms of its importance to road safety, with 82 per cent stating that “having tyres in good condition and properly inflated” was “very important” to their safety when driving. Yet Goodyear correctly points out that merely stating that tyres are important does not necessarily mean drivers have crucial knowledge about tyres, or that they put this knowledge into practice. The survey results suggest that many European drivers underestimate the link between tyre choice and road safety: one respondent in three admitted knowing “little or nothing” about how tyres influence their vehicle’s stopping distance or impact their grip on the road.
Additionally, 73 per cent of respondents said they know the appropriate tyre pressure for different driving conditions, but almost half did not know that the best time to check tyre pressure is when the tyres are cold. Moreover, more than one respondent in three admitted they continue to drive as normal on worn tyres.
No prizes for guessing who were voted Europe’s safest drivers – almost one fifth of respondents regard German drivers the region’s safest, hardly a surprise result considering Germany is easily the most populous of the countries surveyed, accounting for some 22 per cent of the total. Sweden was voted home to Europe’s second safest drivers, followed by England.
Italians were seen as the most “exuberant” among European motorists, with 20 per cent of respondents citing Italy as the country with the most dangerous drivers. Italy was followed by France, with 6 per cent, Greece and Romania. The most cautious drivers were said to be in Germany and Sweden. According to the survey results, 83 per cent of Italian drivers (compared to the average of 77 per cent in other countries) said they often drive more than 20 kilometres per hour (12.4 mph) above the posted speed limit on roads they are very familiar.