Michelin and the FIA Get All 50 States to Standardize Tire Safety Advice in State Drivers’ Manuals, which is No Easy Task

From Car & Driver’s blog, excellent news that “…Michelin and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile [FIA] (Foundation?) have secured commitments from all 50 U.S. states to include consistent tire-maintenance and safety information in their driver education programs.”

There are 51 booklets that can be thought of as state drivers’ manuals in the USA because, apart from the 50 actual states, DC has one, too.  And back in 2006 — dare I say “bravely!” — I read them all and then wrote a research paper on my findings.  It was published by the Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE] at their World Congress, in Detroit, in 2007.  (For the sake of perspective, I will add that to my surprise and great pleasure, my presentation of the paper to a technically very adept audience won me an SAE award for being judged to be in the top five percent of the hundreds of papers presented by their authors at the multi-day event.)

Photo of a Michelin tire
A Michelin Energy MXV4 S8 tire with very shallow tread depth (photo taken in a parking lot).  The image also clearly shows the manufacturing date of this tire:  The 0710 visible bottom left is the standard U.S. display of year (07) and week (10) that this particular batch of tires was made, and this is important to know so that you never unwittingly buy tires that are already too old.

Prior to writing the paper, I had written to the various states, in the hope of starting a discussion about the worrying standards and frankly often dangerous ‘advice’, but I got absolutely zero replies, despite my very polite wording.  As a result, and in the hope of getting the matter some desperately-needed publicity, I felt obliged to give the paper the pugnacious title of “State Drivers’ Manuals Can Kill Your Kids!”  From this experience, I am extremely well aware that not only are there massive variations in the quality and safety-value of the information in these booklets, from state to state, but also that the advice and recommended techniques from one to another can be mutually contradictory.

The paper — State Drivers’ Manuals Can Kill Your Kids! — is available from the SAE, who charge a modest fee for it.  Kindly be aware that they keep the entire fee, I do not make a single cent from it, so these mentions of the paper are posted here solely and specifically to highlight the inadequate and often dangerously bad advice that is still in some states’ official documents.  Fortunately and gratifyingly, some states have started using my recommendations in new versions of their manuals since the paper was published.

This move by Michelin (who make excellent tyres, by the way) and the FIA, is a very welcome, unifying influence on just one of the many topics in the various manuals but frankly it is long overdue that best-practice safety advice should be standardized throughout all of the states.  In what other aspect of life in the USA would the public and – most importantly – the politicians so blindly tolerate more than 40,000 Americans being unnecessarily slaughtered every year?

The Most Popular 5 Posts in the First 8 Weeks of the New ADoNA Website

To help new visitors to this Website save time by seeing just those posts that have gained the most interest, here is the first of what will be a series of periodic lists, and on this occasion these five are from the 71 topics posted so far (use the ‘Archives’ or ‘Categories’ in the right-hand sidebar to view more):

1. It’s Mirror-Signal NOT Signal-Mirror, Despite Bad Advice for 100 Years!

The car with a matched pair of rear, high-intensity fog lights will clearly remain more visible than even cars nearer the camera that have only their regular rear lights to rely upon. Copyright image.

2. Rear Fog Lights for Driving in the USA? What ARE They?

3. USA: Highway Fatalities by State, and by Percentage Changes Since 1975

4. Misleading Highway Safety Info from the NTSB – Part 1

5. Teaching Drivers How to Get Out of a Skid or do an Evasive Swerve Can Result in More Crashes Afterwards, Not Fewer!

Is this page useful, and will it be so, updated at intervals in the future?  Please let us know in the Replies/Comments section, below.

The Unmatched ‘Driver Safety’ Resume of ADoNA CEO & Chief Instructor Eddie Wren has been Updated

Photograph of a large semi-tractor-trailer coming the other way on a gravel road.
If your team has to work in rural areas — as many of our clients’ personnel do — then amongst other things we teach safe driving on gravel roads, even if you meet a big truck like this coming the other way! (Copyright image.)

Advanced Drivers of North America’s CEO & Chief Instructor, Eddie Wren, has an entirely unmatched resume within North American road safety and driver training circles, and it has just been updated.

See how ADoNA, either through consultancy or driver training, can best help your organization.  Contact us.

Protect Yourself from Red Light Runners & Distracted Drivers

This video is a classic example of someone who doesn’t even notice that a traffic light has been on red for a significant time.

Such behavior is commonly indicative of distracted driving.  Bear in mind that hard braking or swerving under these sort of circumstances might stop your car being hit by the red light runner but equally might result in you having a collision with a third vehicle.  So the rather obvious question is how do you and/or your employees protect yourselves from being in a collision in any circumstances similar to this if — in this instance — you are one of the drivers who is making a left turn?

Such issues are just one small but important part of our multi-faceted defensive and advanced driving courses at Advanced Drivers of North America, Inc.  Contact us for more details.

The video is courtesy of the City of Lakewood, WA, where this incident was filmed.