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July 18, 2012

Bridgestone announces new tire models and a teen driver safety program

Bridgestone_SetLogo_TypeAAt a recently held Bridgestone Tire event the manufacturer shared big news regarding their latest tire designs and their launch of a teen driving safety program.

One of the corporation’s latest designs is the updated Potenza RE-11, from Bridgestone’s premier tire line.  “We recently added a groove in the tire’s shoulder for better road contact which helps maintain a strong corner stiffness by being flexible and draining water, (away from the tread),” Bridgestone Senior Project Engineer Cara Adams said.  Another new design is the S-04 Pole Position, “Which is our ultra high performance and is designed for wet and dry roads. The S-04 has wide (silencer) grooves for rapid water evacuation and the design provides a quieter ride.  We have also included high silica which improves tread (for wet braking), and ridges which increase response and handling,” Adams explained. The S-04 also has a, “Rayon body ply which assists in high speeds and provides excellent durability.”

Potenza RE970ASpp-60°Another all-weather model is the RE970/AS which has Bridgestone’s 3D Sipes that help in wet braking while providing, ”maximum rain performance for the life of the tire,” Adams said. The RE970/AS, “Also features wide shoulder blocks for better cornering, chamfered edges to help you bite through the snow when driving.”  For other factors such as high fuel efficiency Adams recommends the Ecopia line tire which, “is super fuel efficient to help keep you from spending money at the gas pump.” One of Adams’ fellow workers added that the cost of Ecopia tires is made up within four years of savings at the pump.  

Lately tire manufacturers have been competing to see who can make the longest lasting tire.  Earlier in the year, Bridgestone competitor Michelin released their Defender tire which the company says has a 90,000 mile life span.  “We have created the Turanza Plus Serenity which has a best in class mileage warranty and lasts up to 75,000 to   80,000 miles.”

Tds_vertical_colorBesides launching longer-lasting and improved designs within their products, Bridgestone has also just made another announcement which reflects their high safety standards.  

In June the company held their annual Teens Drive Smart safety program which originally began in 2006.  The program consists of many facets to increase teen driving safety and accountability.  “The program’s motto is safe driving not distracted driving,” Bridgestone’s Manager of Teens Drive Smart Program, Angela Patterson said.  This year’s event kicked off with teens submitting video submissions which promote driver safety.

10 video finalists were chosen and Bridgestone is now asking the public to view and vote for the best video at  by July 23, 2012.  “This year we received over 2,300 entries and the video with the most votes will receive a $25,000 scholarship, will be played on MTVs jumbo-tron in NYC, and will also be shown as a public service announcement on television.”  There will also be second and third places awarded where the second prize winner will receive a $15,000 scholarship and third place will receive a $10,000 scholarship. also has, “Teen driving statistics and fact sheets.  We wanted to find out what rates teens were distracted at while driving and why.  Bridgestone then did an online/nationwide survey for those who are between 15 and 21 years-old. What we found out from the over 2,000 teens polled is that most teens are actually in denial about how risky their driving is,” Patterson said. 

Facts and statistics found:

-         16% of teen driving deaths in 2009 were due to distractions while driving.

-         Females are 15 percent more distracted than guys.

-         Teens highest distractions are music, eating, drinking, texting, and phone use while driving.

-         1/5 of the boys admitted to texting while 1/3 of the girls said they text.

-         53 percent of the teens polled do not believe that they get too distracted.

During the poll, the teens were asked what types of distracted driving behaviors they have seen their parents involved in.  The answers the teens gave included road rage, speeding, taking phone calls, and texting. “That is why Bridgestone has created our program for teens,” Patterson said. The program also includes a “Teen Driving Experience” driver improvement course to be held in seven markets across the country. Parents may register their child online for the course and we will accept 300 kids per session on a first come/first served basis.”

The website also includes an, “online curriculum to help parents and educators post tips at both the schools and within their homes.” 

How to encourage safe teen driving:

-         Start by signing a contract between the parent and teen.The site includes a ‘Drive Smart’     contract parents can download.

-         Expect that your teen will make mistakes so set your expectations during the early stages of their driving education.

-         Keep calm during driving sessions and give constructive feedback.

“Bridgestone’s goal is to educate young drivers to be better drivers and to make better decisions when behind the wheel,” Patterson said.

Diana Merrill Claussen
Senior Editor




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