TROY, Mich. Repair shops and technicians may soon be seeing new faces walk through their doors. A recent survey commissioned by Honeywell Friction Materials, maker of Bendix Brakes, has lead the company to launch a national consumer initiative aimed at educating young drivers and their parents about proper vehicle care and maintenance.
According to the survey, 30 percent of parents reported that their teen driver experienced a roadside breakdown behind the wheel of their own car by the time they reached 19. These results suggest teenagers lack a basic understanding of auto maintenance that could lead to increased vehicle breakdowns and even more serious accidents, Bendix says.
“Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety” is a social media campaign aimed at educating teens and their parents about proper vehicle care to keep them safe on the roads. This digital program launched in October to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week. It includes a series of online videos and a designated Facebook page that offers relevant tips and safety information, enabling teens and parents to post their own questions and advice.
The first two videos, “What Teens Don’t Know About Car Safety” and “The Top Five Car Care Tips for Teens,” address the importance of regularly checking and changing brakes and other components, and highlight proper vehicle maintenance habits for safe driving. They can be found on the brand’s YouTube channel and on the campaign’s Facebook page.
When it came to communicating with their teen drivers, only slightly more than half of respondents (56 percent) said they have discussed the importance of brakes maintenance, or how to check for tire pressure and tread wear (60 percent). They most frequently communicated about the importance of keeping gas in the vehicle (83 percent) and scheduling regular oil changes (75 percent). Nearly a quarter of parents (24 percent) didn’t know when a brake procedure or inspection had been done on their teen’s car.
“Safety features, like braking systems, play an integral role in helping to keep drivers safe, but they also require proper care and maintenance to function properly,” said Shannon Lara, senior manager, Marketing Communications, Honeywell Friction Materials. “Our goal with Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety is to ensure that all teens are driving safe vehicles for their everyday commutes, and that parents are equipped with the knowledge to help inform and educate them properly.”
Overall, Bendix says, the campaign will create awareness among teens and help enforce both safe driving and normal maintenance habits, in turn driving traffic to the aftermarket industry’s repair shops and bays. And, this issue of proper vehicle maintenance is important given that the survey results show today’s teen girls are driving a vehicle that is an average of 8.4 years old; and 11.3 years old for teen boys. Of those cars, one quarter were rated by parents as being in either fair or poor condition.
The online survey was conducted in August by Harris Interactive among 500 parents of teen drivers age 15 to 19, who have their own car.
For more information on the program, distributors and repair shops can contact their local Honeywell Friction Materials sales representative, visit www.bendixbrakes.com
or the campaign’s Facebook page, which is regularly updated with new tips and survey findings.