The Goodyear Blimp, Road Safety and Being Brave!

 An email came through; would my family like to go on the Goodyear Blimp? Now I have to say, this has to be the most unusual offer I have ever had, normally it’s all about testing nappies and the occasional toy. Suffice to say, I jumped at the opportunity and even though I am actually a bit scared of flying, I put that out of my mind and we all worked ourselves up into a frenzy of excitement over the course of a week.

I know you are all wondering why I got asked on this amazing adventure (through gritted teeth probably).Well, this is a return to Europe for the Goodyear Blimp its been twelve years since it graced our skies and there is a very good reason. In the United Kingdom the Goodyear Safety Tour aims to bring road safety to life.  Surveys on the tour will raise awareness of the Highway Code, in particular linking it to the importance of checking tread depths and pressures. In October, Goodyear will run a set of Road Safety Days teaching participants about safer driving – overlooked by the guiding presence of the blimp ‘Spirit of Safety I’.
Boy was very brave
Goodyear commissioned a survey of 5,000 motorists, it showed a large percentage failed to correctly answer a number of general knowledge and picture questions covering The Highway Code.Most worryingly 54% of drivers did not know to stop when a traffic light shone its red and amber lights together.  48% of those surveyed also didn’t know that the typical stopping distance for a car driving at 50mph is  53 metres or 13 car lengths.  Nearly a fifth thought they could get away with 36 metres.

When asked what the no-overtaking road sign meant, a worrying 23% got it wrong and over 75% assumed that the 30mph minimum speed sign actually indicated the maximum speed allowed.  However, while the results showed many drivers were out of touch with the road rules, 95% are under the illusion that their understanding of The Highway Code is either adequate or good and over 40% don’t believe that drivers should be re-tested. I must say I did find all these stats shocking and it explains a lot.

Goodyear are, as we all know, a tyre manufacturer, but in 1911 they started to produced airship envelopes in order to demonstrate their rubber, hence their iconic blimp. The blimp is a brilliant inspirational icon and I feel genuinely chuffed to have been able to go on it. Talk about the chance of a lifetime and I wonder if boy is the youngest person ever to go on it at just 4 years and a few days. It’s an experience that money can’t buy, you need to be invited on it for a ride, so I think this one wins the prize for being best ever blogging freebie. However you can nominate someone for a ride on it and find loads more information on the Goodyear Blimp website.
The View from Inside

I hope I have got across here how amazing the experience of travelling by airship was, I am thrilled that the Boy got the chance to go on it and I hope that in years to come he will be able to remember it. I overcame my fear and for myself and the husband it was an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Not least, because apparently there are less airship pilots than shuttle pilots. I’m full of facts, think yourself lucky you don’t work with me. If you don’t like sharp ascents and sharp descents it’s probably not for you. At one point I had to pinch myself as I thought I might be featuring in some cartoon comedy where the tip of the airship comes to a juddering halt centimetres from the ground…

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3 Responses

  1. Mediocre Mum 25th April 2011 / 7:42 am

    What an amazing experience! I'm sooooooo jealous…mind you I'm terrified of flying as well!

  2. Alex 26th April 2011 / 9:55 am

    I must get around to youtubing the video of it 😀

  3. TheMadHouse 28th April 2011 / 4:42 pm

    Wow, I am green with envy. But I am glad that you got to do it!

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