Did you know that October is Tyre Safety Month?
The idea behind it is straightforward: a month-long bout of awareness raising, encouraging vehicle owners to think about tyre safety. It’s hard to disagree with when poor tyre maintenance still claims lives and causes disruptive vehicle breakdowns.
The tyre safety charity TyreSafe is promoting the campaign with a simple slogan, ‘What’s Stopping You?’ In other words, what’s stopping you, as a vehicle owner, from carrying out a quick and essential check of tyre pressure, tyre condition and tread depth?
They also have a neat acronym, ACT, which stands for:
- Air Pressure
- Tyre Pressure
Here’s their video ad:
What exactly is stopping you?
The question ‘What’s Stopping You?’ is obviously meant rhetorically, because, actually nothing’s stopping you from carrying out regular checks.
However, it’s worth pausing for a second and considering this a bit more. Because, according to Tyresafe’s 2016 research, around one in five drivers have never checked theitr tyres and a far greater proportion don’t do it regularly. What lies behind this? After all, we all know we should check our tyres, and it’s really quick and easy to take care of.
Our guess is that it’s some combination of the following:
- Assuming that the annual MOT or service is sufficient to ensure tyres are in good condition.
- Not understanding what to do, or believing that the tyre checking is more difficult than it actually is.
- Procrastinating on checking tyres, and then forgetting that it needs doing.
- Sharing a vehicle, and leaving the tyre-checking to another party.
Out of these, the first two are questions of driver education. The problem is probably one of motivation: most people just aren’t that interested in tyres, and it’s hard to get people to pay attention to anything they’re not interested in. For example, at the time of writing TyreSafe’s own tyre-checking ‘how to’ video — a little bit cheesy, but a great summary — has racked up just 1,046 views. Take a look:
Procrastination is the devil that sits on all of our shoulders, and the only way to tackle it is through establishing new habits and routines. Kick-starting these is the point of the awareness month.
As for the sharing a car issue, we guess that falls into what psychologists call diffusion of resonsibility. In this context, it means that if you don’t have sole ownership of the vehicle, then you don’t have sole responsibility for it either. And because the responsibility is shared, each driver has the perfect get-out clause. In fact, you can picture the post-tyre blow-out conversation:
“Didn’t you check the tyres? The guy said they were worn down to the cords.”
“Well, why didn’t YOU check them? You’re just as capable of doing it as I am.”
“It’s never been my job to check them!”
“Who made it MY job to check them?”
…and so on and so forth.
Given the proportion of drivers who don’t regularly check their tyres (for whatever reason), we think Tyre Awareness month is a great idea. Please help spread the news.
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