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December 8, 2021

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Michelin addresses mobility safety and sustainability

In today’s world, better mobility is an integral part of a better life. What constitutes better mobility? The 2021 Michelin China Safe Mobility Survey Report, released by French tire and mobility company Michelin, tried to give an answer.

The report, published on December 1, one day ahead of China’s Traffic Safety Day, was conducted by Michelin China in partnership with the Southern Weekly Research Institute and supported by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The report primarily focused on recommending insights for safe, convenient, as well as environmentally sustainable transportation on roads.

Results came from questionnaires and in-depth research from over 3,000 participants, evaluating their current travel habits, trends and expectations they have for safer travel.

The growing dependence on automobile travel, as well as technology, such as smartphones, portends an accompanying risk of road accidents. Statistics show that the cost of damage caused by road collisions accounts for up to 3 percent of the total GDP in many countries.

Furthermore, with the ever-increasing popularity of smart mobile devices, the proportion of drivers who engage in “distracted driving,” i.e. using a mobile device while behind the wheel, and those who have “looked at mobile phones or other electronic devices” when crossing the road is as high as 70 percent.

There remains much room for improvement in road safety measures. In response to these issues, many resolute approaches were addressed in detail.

One facet has been the consistent enforcement of road and transportation safety knowledge through means of laws, regulations and education. Whilst this has been well promulgated through numerous means, statistics from the report show that less than 40 percent of questionnaire respondents said that they follow safety rules such as wearing helmets whilst riding or using safety seats, flagging further concern.

An increase in automobile traffic does not only pose threats for pedestrians on the road but for the environment as well. Urban transportation development and its impact on convenience have heavily affected the choices of travelers. Whilst increasing the number of travel options has garnered a somewhat positive response, it is imperative to ensure that these new options remain sustainable.

Environmentally-friendly transport — particularly low-carbon options — is also a key area addressed in the report and remains a crucial goal in achieving sustainable urban development in the city. In recent years, trends supporting eco-sustainability have taken the world by storm; the decision to opt for green and low-carbon travel has gradually grown to become the norm.

“Michelin has always been committed to the belief that everything is sustainable, and has been growing in a direction to make travel safer, greener, more convenient and more efficient for all. We expect to create a more sustainable environment for people’s travel to contribute to a better lifestyle,” said Kamran Vossoughi, president and CEO of Michelin China.

The sheer significance of sustainable travel is a sentiment echoed by Sharon Zheng, vice president of Brand Communications and Experiences of Michelin China.

“Achieving the goal of ‘sustainable travel’ is not an overnight project but a long-term project that requires joint efforts from all,” she said. “Michelin hopes to be able to continue working with all parties through small steps that will amount to big leaps and changes. Take action and continue to contribute to making travel safer and better for all.”

Though numerous issues that are highlighted still need to be addressed, solutions presented in the report serve as a reassuring sign of the improvement of automobile travel safety and will hopefully remain as viable sustainable solutions into the future.


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