As a leading automotive supplier, Continental has been contributing to road safety for over 140 years, and is bringing this to the next level with the Vision Zero strategy. This initiative pursues the goal of making road transport safer and strives to one day achieve the goal of zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents. Continental is supporting this plan with holistic vehicle expertise and the development of new tire technologies.
Before starting out
Anticipation runs high for the Tour de France. In order to keep your journey to the Tour stress-free, we recommend a thorough check of your tires and brakes before starting out. The topic of safety is important – our tips ensure that you arrive safely and can enjoy the cycling race.
What condition are your tires in at the moment? Before you start out you should examine your tires for punctures, cuts, rips and dents. A changed rolling sound could indicate tire damage. If you see anything abnormat you should drive carefully and visit a repair shop as soon as possible. ln case of doubt your local tire dealer specialist can help you out.
To ensure safe driving, the profile depths of your tires should be between 4–8 mm. This is especially important when braking on wet surfaces. You can measure the profile depth before your journey with an ordinary one euro coin. If the golden ring is covered when in between the profile blocks, then your profile depth is sufficient. However, you should not start your journey with less than 3 mm profile depth on summer tires and 4 mm on winter tires.
Also check if your car contains the optimum levels of oil, water, coolant and fuel. A first aid box, warning vest, a warning triangle and vehicle tool kit are all basic equipment that should be present in the car. In the case of an emergency, this equipment could be life-saving.
Loading your car securely is extremely important. Heavy luggage should be stored below. It should be stored in the leg space behind the driver’s seat or low down in the trunk. Light luggage should be stored above it. All items must also be firmly tied down without any gaps, so that they do not move through the car in an uncontrolled way in the event of emergency braking.
If you are traveling with a lot of luggage to the Tour, you should increase your tire pressure accordingly. Tire pressure values of 0.1 to 0.2 bar over the prescribed tire pressure values can ensure a safe and pleasant driving feel. Ideally, you should check the pressure before starting to drive or after a short initial route section.
If you have a flat tire, you should consult a specialist dealer. A spare or emergency tire can be used as an emergency measure in all cases of tire damage. The best tire to use as a spare is an all-season tire, as you remain mobile and save on the cost of a tow service. However, you should immediately drive to a repair shop with your emergency wheel, as this type of wheel is very small, and your mobility is restricted. If you are on holiday in a region with weak infrastructure, this could become a disadvantage, as the necessary tire size for your car may be hard to find.
Continental is not only using its involvement in the Tour de France as a platform for its bicycle and car tires, but also to emphasize the importance of safety and to present relevant technologies produced by Continental.
Under the title “Safe Tour”, Continental is offering safety checks for spectators’ vehicles along the Tour route with the Continental Brigade. Additionally, Continental teams will check the tires of all official vehicles and promotional vans before the start of the Tour de France. In the months prior to the race, over 200 ASO drivers took part in safety training sessions conducted by Continental.
The following video is designed to sensitize spectators and tour participants on the topic of safety :