In 2014, Michelin North America identified a life-threatening problem; Improperly maintained tires were contributing to numerous car accidents, the number one cause of teen deaths in the United States. Twelve percent of those crashes are directly related to poor tire maintenance, and research showed that neither parents nor driver's education materials were equipped to educate teens about this important topic. In fact, at the time only two states were teaching tire safety in driver's education classes.
In response, Michelin launched the Beyond the Driving Test initiative in partnership with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), setting a goal of gaining commitments from all 50 U.S. states to include consistent information about tire safety in new driver training materials.
Michelin then zeroed in on moving teens from tire safety awareness to action. Teens care about air pressure and tread depth — but it has more to do with their sneakers than their tires. Capitalizing on the recent sneaker craze, Michelin partnered with Vans to motivate teens to get involved in tire safety through the #StreetTreadContest. For a chance to win a pair of limited-edition Michelin-inspired Vans, teens used social media to share a photo showing that they know how to check a tire's tread depth using a penny and/or know how to check tire pressure.
Courtesy of Michelin North America
Street Tread has been a major success in driving teens to action and connecting the dots between something teenagers are passionate about, their shoes, and a serious, life-saving issue that is too often overlooked, tire maintenance. Michelin expects that the Street Tread experience will stick with young adults and create diligent tire-care habits that they will in turn pass along to others.