Survey shows Scandinavian attitudes to tyre safety

Michelin has conducted a tyre survey in the Nordic region to gauge differences between the countries in relation to tyre safety.

Nordic driver attitudes to tyre safety surveyA survey conducted by Michelin has uncovered regional difference in Scandinavia regarding the choice and maintenance of tyres during different seasons of the year. Covering Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, the survey interviewed 4000 motorists about their tyre choices and their attitudes towards safety on the road.

According to Michelin Nordic’s environmental and traffic officer, Marcus Karlsson, “The survey of more than 4000 Nordic motorists gives us important insights into their attitudes and relationship towards the tyre, especially when it comes to traffic safety and tyre choice. In this respect, the survey provides useful information on trends and possible changes in drivers’ perceptions.”

Seasonal changes

With the seasonal changes in the region being particularly severe, it was important to understand what local motorists do during the winter months and the survey found that in Finland, 83% of drivers use studded tyres compared to 63% in Norway and only 39% in Norway.

Usage of studded tyres in Denmark is very low, with motorists in the more southern country opting for all-season tyres more frequently than their neighbours with 16% taking that option compared to 5% in Norway and Sweden and a very small 1% in Finland.

Commenting on these differences, Marcus Karlsson told us, “When you consider the geographic and climatic differences across the region, this isn’t so surprising. With the particularly harsh winters of Finland, it’s logical that motorists there are more likely to gear up for the winter than the Swedes and Danes who live in big more southerly cities like Stockholm and Oslo.”

Tyre choices for summer

Michelin’s survey also shows some major differences in the number of motorists who, against all recommendations, drive on winter tyres all year round. 7% of Danish motorists still use winter tyres during the summer months compared to 5% in Sweden, 3% in Norway and 1% in Finland.

Explaining why the number of people driving on the same rubber all year round is a problem in the Nordic region, Marcus Karlsson commented, “The problem with winter tyres in the summer is that the braking distance and grip gradually deteriorates as the temperature rises and the rubber is softer. Even a good snow tyre performs significantly worse than a summer tyre once the road temperature reaches 7C above zero. According to the numbers revealed in the survey, we still have a huge task to inform motorists about the importance of running with the right tyres for the right season, especially in Denmark and Sweden.”

Winter tyre legislation

Sweden, Norway and Finland have legislation in place to ensure that motorists fit appropriate winter tyres during the cold season and there is support amounting to around 50% of those surveyed in these countries for extended legislation that covers the summer season.

In Denmark, there is no such law covering the type of tyres used during the winter and Michelin surveyed its motorists to gauge attitudes towards any law that the country’s politicians might propose. The results showed that the younger generation were more in favour of legislation with 72% of 18-29 year old drivers supporting such measures compared to 58% of motorists from other age groups.

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Human Factors

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