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MEDIA RELEASE

September 5, 2016

FEMALE drivers may hold the key to reducing road fatalities, according to the experts behind the upcoming safety initiative, Tread Safely Week (5-11 September).

In its second year, the national road safety initiative comes as Australia’s road toll for this first seven months of 2016 stands at 761 fatalities, up 13 per cent on last year[i]. Astoundingly, female fatalities on the roads accounted for only a quarter of these road deaths and has been decreasing for the past three years[ii].

Research commissioned by Bob Jane T-Marts confirms that women are the more safety conscious sex, but shows many lack the confidence to undertake basic roadworthy car checks[iii]. The Bob Jane T-Marts research reveals that despite men being more likely than women to not replace tyres and knowingly drive on unsafe tyres, a third of women admit that their husband or boyfriend carries out their car checks[iv].

In fact, women are also three times more likely to leave tyre pressure checks to the experts and when it comes to self-measuring that all important tyre tread, almost 60 per cent of women never do it – more than double the figure for men[v]. Off the back of these findings, leading safety expert and founder of the Australian Road Safety Foundation, Russell White, said this year’s Tread Safely Week has an added female focus.

‘The statistics are clear: if more females were armed with the know-how, we would have fewer dangerous vehicles on the road,’ Mr White said.

‘Empowering a nation of ‘femechanics’ – by converting women’s superior safety consciousness into knowledge and skills – will ultimately save lives,’ he said.

Bob Jane T-Marts National Marketing Manager Zsuzsa Zalatnai, said the female focus  not only responded to the research, but also to the company’s daily interactions with women drivers.

‘The feedback from Bob Jane T-Marts stores is that women are crying out for a basic skill-set when it comes to this issue,’  Ms Zalatnai said.

‘So as part of Tread Safely Week, we’ll be tackling this attitude versus skills gap with a series of hands-on female-only workshops in a selection of our stores,’ she said.

With the help of Michelin experts, the selected Bob Jane T-Marts stores will pilot 45-minute femechanic workshops,  which will include hands-on demonstrations of how to check tyre tread and pressure, how to put air in a tyre, and how to change a tyre.

Michelin Australia’s Managing Director Cedric Binoit said the workshops were designed to give more women the confidence to carry out their own vehicle safety inspections.

‘Checking tyres is one of the easiest ways to help prevent accidents and may save lives,’ Mr Binoit said.

‘Tyres help carry our most precious cargo – our families, and a few quick and simple checks can improve their safety on the road’ he said.

Men won’t be left in the passenger seat either, with the Tread Safely Week road show including an additional 11 local events where both genders will be reminded about the importance of road safety.

Tread Safely Week runs from 5 to 11 September and is a joint initiative of the Australian Road Safety Foundation, Bob Jane T-Marts and Michelin.

Further details and local event information: http://www.treadsafely.com.au/

 

ENDS

For more media information, please contact Frances Browne, Ruby Communications on 0431 296 499 or email frances@weareruby.com.au

[i] Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Australian Road Deaths Database https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/fatal_road_crash_database.aspx

[ii] Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Australian Road Deaths Database https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/fatal_road_crash_database.aspx

[iii] Tyre Risk Rating Report, conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Bob Jane T-Marts July 2015 with a sample size n=1010

[iv] Tyre Risk Rating Report, conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Bob Jane T-Marts July 2015 with a sample size n=1010

[v] Tyre Risk Rating Report, conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Bob Jane T-Marts July 2015 with a sample size n=1010