Ha Noi City, 29 th June, 2015 – Building on the success of “Bus Care Day” which was held in Ho Chi Minh City in end April, Bridgestone Vietnam and Benh Vien O To organized a similar event in the North from 24th – 25th June at Giap Bat Coach Station in Hanoi.
The turnout at the first “Bus Care Day” exceeded the organizers’ expectation, and was attended by 121 buses and coaches and 242 drivers. Following this sophomore event, the organizers estimate that 230 buses and coaches received servicing at the event, while 450 drivers had been equipped with knowledge on driving safety and tire and battery maintenance.
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, 80% of traffic accidents are caused by the driver’s lack of knowledge and awareness. For buses and coaches, many accidents were attributed to a wide range of situations, such as the bus driver being unable to control their driving speed, encroachment onto other road lanes, overloading of passengers, or falling asleep behind the wheel.
As vanguards of vehicle and road safety in Vietnam, Bridgestone Vietnam and Benh Vien O To, together with partners from the automotive industry such as GS Vietnam and 3M Vietnam, organized “Bus Care Day” to provide technical support and transmit knowledge on driving safety to bus drivers. This is with the goal of reducing the number of avoidable traffic accidents in Vietnam.
At the first “Bus Care Day” held in April, only 39% of the participating vehicles were in good condition, while the remaining 61% had technical errors in essential parts of the vehicle, such as the engine, brake system, gear box and electricity. In addition, only half of the buses and coaches had tires which were filled with the correct air pressure. Most alarming was that 60% of the tires were worn and needed to be replaced, with many not receiving regular checks.
To address these issues, skilled technical experts from Bridgestone Vietnam shared the 6 step tire care process with drivers. This enabled drivers to self-check and monitor their tire pressure, tread depth, sidewall, tire surface and tire valves.
Mr. Hiroyuki Saito, General Director of Bridgestone Vietnam commented “At Bridgestone, one of our foundations is “Genbutsu-Genba”, which means decision-making based on verified onsite observation. Bus Care Day has helped us tremendously in understanding the bus and coach situation in Vietnam, as well as the difficulties that the drivers encounter. This knowledge will help Bridgestone Vietnam propose functional and relevant solutions that can help reduce traffic accidents in Vietnam.”
GS Battery Vietnam, as the main sponsor of this event, offered battery care services to drivers. From data regarding battery usage and maintenance gleaned at the last “Bus Care Day”, GS technicians reported that 95% of participating vehicles used fluid batteries, but over 60% had a serious lack of fluid, while 30% of drivers filled up the batteries with acid instead of distilled water. In addition, many of the buses and coaches filled their vehicle’s battery cavity with other cargo, resulting in air being unable to escape from the batteries – which can adversely affect a battery’s lifespan, lead to swelling, or in worst cases, explosion of the battery. At “Bus Care Day”, GS technicians were onsite to provide consultation to drivers on how they can make their batteries safer and more effective.
Care for both vehicles and drivers
Apart from providing technical support and equipping drivers with knowledge on safety and maintenance, “Bus Care Day” encouraged drivers to share the difficulties they face on the road and in their jobs.
Mr. Van Duc Hai, a driver at Giap Bat Coach Station shared, “Few people have a positive opinion on us; moreover, the number of people who would listen to us is even fewer. This is the first time that we have had an opportunity to share about our jobs. We really appreciate the organizers listening to us about our driving difficulties, and bringing in technical experts to support us.”
75% of the bus and coach drivers who participated at “Bus Care Day” claimed that they did not receive sympathy from their communities. The two biggest difficulties faced by drivers, stated by 77% of the drivers surveyed, is the low quality road infrastructure, and of them being charged on roads. In addition, vehicle-on-road and the lack of resting time are key problems faced by long-haul drivers.
The organizers of “Bus Care Day” plan to hold the event again in the future, with the aim of making the roads in Vietnam safer for all.
For more details of Bus Care Day, please visit Bridgestone Vietnam’s website or contact Bridgestone Tire Sales Vietnam LLC. directly at 1900-54-54-68.
About Bridgestone Corporation:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nation and territories around the world.