MICHELINTaking an original approach to road safety, the Michelin Group has organised a competition for young drivers on Facebook. The main victims of road accidents, young people are twice as likely to be involved in accidents as older, more experienced drivers. Every year on average, nearly 5,000 young people aged 18 to 24 are killed in road accidents in the European Union[1]. At the same time, since nearly 80% of young Europeans aged 16 to 24 are regular uses of social media[2], Facebook represents a logical means for raising their awareness of road safety issues.

Called Tom European Tour, the game invites young people who drive – or are learning to drive – to travel with a virtual character named Tom through seven countries. Through the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Spain, web users can follow and share Tom’s adventures from 17 April through 8 June 2012. For each stage of the journey, participants will answer questions or take part in a game dealing with the main aspects of road safety, such as complying with road signs and driving laws, anticipating hazards, maintaining vigilance, respecting speed limits and adjusting to weather conditions. Participants with the best score will be awarded a symbolic driver’s license for each country visited. A random draw will then be made to choose the winner, who will receive a new Citroën C1.

The adventure is designed to teach young people the right reflexes and behaviour at the wheel and to allow the exchange and sharing of views across Europe. Travelling across Europe with Tom will provide young people with the opportunity to learn more about key rules of the road, as well as each country’s special features, and encourage them to take road safety more seriously.

The initiative is part of the European ROSYPE project (ROad Safety for Young People in Europe), which was launched and led by the Michelin Group with the support of the European Commission. The goal is to raise road safety awareness among 730,000 young Europeans, aged 6 to 25, over a three-year period. The project is based on an on-going educational process whereby road safety is taught gradually and adapted to different phases of life. A specific approach is taken for each age group:

  • From 6 to 12 years: Discovering mobility
  • From 13 to 16 years: Learning about the road
  • From 17 to 25 years: Driving responsibility

ROSYPE showcases experiments with good driving practices and thus favours real-life experience over abstract, theoretical knowledge.

Every year, more than 30 educational programs are deployed in 15 European countries[3]. For example, in France, Hungary and Italy, children learn basic traffic laws and the importance of wearing a helmet when biking. In Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, Michelin uses a driving simulator to teach young people about the dangers of driving on worn or underinflated tyres and to promote a responsible attitude behind the wheel.

The ROSYPE project reflects Michelin’s commitment to supporting sustainable mobility that is safer for everyone, especially young people who are also the most vulnerable demographic group.

Discover the Tom European Tour game at:

Initiatives pursued as part of the ROSYPE project include:

  • Achtung Auto. Developed in Germany and Austria in partnership with the countries’ auto clubs (ADAC and ÖAMTC), the program teaches children about braking and stopping distances. These concepts are often not well understood but are nonetheless essential for the safety of young pedestrians.
  • Puppet Show. Using dramatic presentations, role-playing exercises and quizzes, British teenagers received a humorous introduction to the main road safety risks, including excessive speed, drinking and mobile phone use when driving.
  • Road Safety Idea of the Year. In Finland, secondary school students are invited to create their own road safety campaign as way of getting them to think more deeply about the subject.
  • School presentations. In partnership with France’s Road Safety Association (APR), wide-ranging two-day discussions on road safety topics involving experienced facilitators and students are held in secondary schools.