Michelin is partnering with Arity, a mobility and data analytics company founded by American insurance company The Allstate Corporation, to develop data-powered solutions for transportation departments and city authorities, with the aim of improving road safety across the USA. This partnership will combine the expertise of Michelin Driving Data to Intelligence (DDI), who are the Michelin Group’s in-house data analysis boffins, with Arity’s database. This database, which contains nearly 100 million consumer connections, is said to be the largest repository of driving behaviour data in the world.
TyreSafe is urging riders to remember tyre safety as part of The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) THINK BIKE week. The campaign, which runs from 23 April to 3 May, is being spearheaded by Fire and Rescue Services across the country and 40 partner agencies, including TyreSafe. THINK BIKE highlights the need for riders to wear the right kit and ‘brush up’ on their riding skills as so many will have had an exceptionally long time out of the saddle due to Lockdown. Another key message is on bike maintenance and ensuring machines are in good roadworthy condition, especially the tyres.
Based on claims trends following previous UK lockdowns, insurer NFU Mutual is expecting a sharp increase in accidents from next week. This is when self-contained holiday accommodation lets, non-essential retail, personal care, outdoor hospitality and indoor leisure venues are scheduled to open to the public on 12 April. Claims to NFU Mutual for car accidents increased sharply by 22 per cent over the late May Bank Holiday last year, shortly after lockdown was eased on May 11. Car accident claims also increased by 12 per cent over the Christmas period compared with previous weeks, prompting the insurer to advise caution on the roads. The prediction comes alongside 1 in 4 drivers admitting they are feeling nervous about making long journeys once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Uswitch, the comparison website, recently commissioned a survey among UK motorists to test their knowledge of the rules concerning when headlights should be switched on. Says Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer and car insurance expert at Uswitch; “With the days getting longer, and restrictions easing, we’ll soon be hopping back into our cars for the first time in months. And although they say driving is like riding a bike – you never forget – there are some things that do slip our minds.”
New research released today (31 March) reveals that the impact of the pandemic has resulted in the average driver reducing their mileage by 42 per cent over the last year. However, there has not been an equivalent drop in the amount of pothole damage to the nation’s vehicles.
As winter sets in, we are reminded that, not only is December the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to beware of potholes. Research by Opinium of more than 2,000 UK motorists, on behalf of InsuretheGap.com, has revealed that one in four (29 per cent) have damaged their car on speedhumps or potholes, rising to almost one in three (32 per cent) in rural areas. With standing water making it extremely difficult to distinguish between a mere surface puddle and a deep and potentially vehicle-damaging gaping hole in the road, these figures are sure to rise during the coming winter months.
TyreSafe’s Tyre Safety Month 2020 campaign is themed on movies. Its latest cinematic pastiche is designed to remind drivers to check their tyre tread regularly. The advice is communicated via the ‘TyreFlix production,’ Judge Tread. The organisation’s annual October campaign focuses on encouraging drivers to ensure their tyres are Ready for ACTion by checking Air pressure, Condition and Tread. Watch the video, and other campaign content, below, or on the TyreSafe YouTube channel.
A new YouGov survey commissioned by Protyre suggests that over 30 per cent of parents could be using dangerous tyres to ferry around their children. The online survey marks this year’s Tyre Safety Month campaign from TyreSafe and its members. Simon Hiorns, Protyre retail director, said that the findings “raise concerns about how much the public are taking on board the importance of tyre safety.” He added that the company wants to “remind parents and motorists generally that tyre safety is just as important as things like seat belts and child car seats.” Protyre also revealed that the proportion of tyres demounted at its branches below the legal tread depth continues to be above 50 per cent. This, it states, shows that the need for tyre professionals to communicate the importance of checking tyre safety remains high.
The UK government has launched an audit into the mapping of potholes in England. Aided by data from on-road businesses such as Uber, Deliveroo and Tesco in addition to local highway authorities and highway data and mapping company Gaist, the Department for Transport will identify ‘pothole hot-spots’. The scheme intends to better target road improvements as people return to work and school. According to the most recent research published by Kwik-Fit on the subject, potholes caused £1.25 billion of damage to vehicles in 2019, with the average bill for affected motorists £115. Potholes damage most frequently afflicts tyres, wheels, suspension, and steering.
New research by Money Expert has found that, when it comes to driving, family ties apparently count for little among British drivers, as seven in 10 people consider themselves better drivers than family and friends. When asked about their mum, only 16 per cent rate them a good driver. One in 10 people would also go as far to say that they wouldn’t let their mum, partner, child or best friend drive their car if they were insured to do so, with the most popular reason being that they’re most likely to crash.
For those who have had to use their vehicles throughout the lockdown period, it has been a welcome change on the roads, with less traffic and fewer jams and hold-ups. But now lockdown is being eased, it appears that old, bad habits are raising their ugly heads once again as motorists appear to have become ruder and inconsiderate.
Only Sweden has safer roads than the UK, according to figures unveiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) that cover Europe. In light of this, Sheffield-based Roadmender Asphalt commissioned nationally representative research that has explored commuter habits post-lockdown, showing that 69 per cent of Brits would rather cycle or drive in to work now than take public transport due to the COVID-19 risk, amounting to 24,261,000 people. Further to this, the study has unveiled that 65 per cent of Brits would not feel comfortable commuting to work via public transport anymore and think it will be one of the most stressful parts of their day.
A recent study has revealed that a driver’s average working week increased by almost five hours during lockdown, as many played a key role in keeping the country moving during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. As lockdown eases and brings new fleet management challenges, Venson Automotive Solutions is asking businesses to ensure the extra hours undertaken during lockdown and the new processes being accommodated to address relaxed social distancing, don’t take a toll on drivers’ mental and physical well-being. While most businesses know what to do to keep their vehicles safely on the road, they can sometimes miss the signs of an employee being under stress.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is urging the Government to remove the six-month MOT extension with immediate effect, following the Prime Minister’s announcement that further social distancing measures will be relaxed from 4 July.
Following the news that the DVSA will restart heavy vehicle testing from 4 July 2020, Tyres & Accessories understands that the government Department for Transport (DfT) is consulting on ending the rolling MOT extension initiated at the start of lockdown in March 2020. While DVSA published a statement on 19 June 2020 relating to restarting HGV tests, DfT has not yet answered T&A’s car MOT-related questions on the subject.
However, when we approached the National Tyre Distributors Association for a tyre industry perspective on the reports, the NTDA gave is full support to proposals to end the current temporary car MOT extension currently being given to the expiry dates of MOT tests as they become due. Specifically, the NTDA called for government to “restart with immediate effect” the normal MOT process.