Michelin links tire safety to first car memories

June 19, 2015

Michelin North America Inc. is combining nostalgia for a driver's first car with a lesson in tire safety at the start of the summer driving season.

The tire manufacturer commissioned a survey, which reveals four out of five Americans can tell you about the make or model of their first car, but only one in five remember the type of tires.

"As a tire manufacturer focused on road safety for over 125 years, we feel we have an obligation to remind drivers that whether or not their first -- or current -- vehicle is in the best condition, their tires should be," says Pierre Barrard, director of marketing for Michelin North America. "Ultimately, we want to reinforce that what matters most is the safety of the driver, their car and its tires."

Michelin is kicking off a #firstcarmoment campaign, encouraging consumers to share stories about their first rides on social media, while also learning more about the importance of tire safety. Summer is a significant time to remind people about tire safety, Michelin says, because the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day marks the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers, based on accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council.

To learn more about the campaign, visit Michelin Man on YouTube. To learn more about tire maintenance and keeping young drivers safe on the road, including how to check tire tread and pressure, visit beyondthedrivingtest.com.

Michelin's survey also found:

  • More than half of Americans (58%) got their first car before age 18.
  • While half (57%) purchased their first car themselves, more than one-third (39%) received it from someone else (either as a gift specifically purchased for them or as a hand-me-down).
  • When thinking about their first car, one-third of Americans (33%) were not familiar with how to maintain tire tread, and only half (53%) kept a tire pressure gauge in the glove box.