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Goodyear Publishes Paper on Young Drivers and Road Safety

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Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) published the findings of a new research project it undertook with the European Driving Schools Association (EFA) on Nov. 27.

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Alongside the research, Goodyear EMEA published a Road Safety White Paper – “Driving Safety First: Improving Road Safety For Novice Drivers.” The white paper was introduced and discussed at a panel debate of the European Transport Safety Council in Brussels recently.

Key recommendations published in the white paper include suggestions that European policy makers should:
•    Look to conduct research into the safety benefits of a graduated driving license.
•    The European Commission and national governments should encourage the inclusion of pre-driving instruction training in road safety in the education curriculum for schools.
•    The European Commission should strengthen the requirements on training in car and motorbike maintenance – particularly in relation to checking the tire tread and tire pressure, within all elements of the driving test.
•    National governments should use public awareness campaigns that target novice drivers to support their policies on road safety where appropriate.

The white paper also came up with recommendations aimed squarely at the automotive industry. These centered on the suggestion that the automotive industry should work toward the universal inclusion of new technology that improves road safety in vehicles driven by young drivers. And that it should collectively use marketing and promotion to emphasize the technology in their vehicles, which make them safer.

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The latest research project, which focuses on the attitudes of Europe’s driving instructors to road safety of young drivers, follows the publication of survey data assessing the impact of the first year of European tire labeling across the continent a little over a month earlier. According to the company, the research builds on Goodyear’s existing research into road safety of novice drivers and will inform recommendations to policy makers, road safety stakeholders and the motor industry to improve road safety for novice drivers.

This research is Goodyear’s fourth annual road safety survey and the first to focus on the role of driver training. For the second year running, Goodyear EMEA is working closely with EFA, the Europe-wide association for driving instructors and driving schools. Underpinning the research is a new survey of 2,334 driving instructors in the EU as well as representative samples in Russia, Turkey and South Africa. The survey is first of its kind collecting the opinions of driving instructors at such a scale and picks up some interesting findings, such as the crucial role parents play in developing young people’s driving habits and the huge differences in driver training across the markets.

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Goodyear EMEA and EFA report that they have used the research to co-develop a White Paper on what policy makers can consider when looking to ensure young motorists learn to drive safely. Through this research Goodyear EMEA and EFA aim to uncover the issues that matter most to the driving instructor community, and to explore different approaches to raising young drivers’ awareness of safe and responsible driving. Goodyear EMEA’s recommendations call on policy makers to embed car maintenance in the driving test as well as to research improvements to the testing regime.

Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa vice president consumer tires, said: “We at Goodyear welcome the EFA’s renewed commitment to working with us to improve road safety for novice drivers. Our research shows that by working together policy makers and the motor industry can further increase awareness of road safety among novice drivers. We want to understand the way they learn to drive and what are the factors affecting their attitude to road safety. By seeking evidence from a wide sample of driving instructors we want to know how driving instruction has changed over the last few decades and to understand the likely future trends.”

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Goodyear EMEA’s research considers a wide range of issues including: best practice in training and testing; effective techniques for coaching novice drivers to become safe drivers; new technology that could improve driver instruction; and level of information of novice drivers about car maintenance.
Goodyear EMEA and EFA intend to use the data to shape future road safety projects. This includes further collaboration with driving schools, and public awareness campaigns to inform novice drivers about how to be safer on the road.

John Lepine, president of the European Driving Schools Association, said: “I welcome this opportunity to work with Goodyear again. This project will be vital in our understanding of the attitudes of driving instructors across Europe. Alongside Goodyear’s previous research into road safety, I hope that the insights we get from the 2013 program will further enhance our understanding of the role of driver training in road safety.”

The study was carried out by Reputation Inc. on behalf of Goodyear EMEA to better understand driving instructors’ attitudes towards road safety awareness, beliefs and practices amongst young drivers. The survey encompassed 37 questions, which was disseminated to driving instructors in 15 different countries.  
The countries who took part were: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, U.K., Russia, Turkey and South Africa. In every country, the overall population of driving instructors was researched, and a representative sample from each country was then required to fill out the questionnaire.

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The answers to questions from all surveys were collated and analyzed both at individual country levels, and at EU-wide level. The countries included in the EU analysis were: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, and the U.K. (sample size n=2,334). When undertaking the overall European analysis, the data was weighted equally according to country populations, thereby giving all countries an equal voice.

Field work was carried out from August to September, 2013. Interviews were conducted online in the local language of each country. (Tyres & Accessories)

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