“You could learn a lot from a dummy.”

11 12 2011

Now that you’ve seen some funny examples, here’s a seat belt campaign that managed to be eye-catching while still sending the right message:

The Advertising Educational Foundation (AEF) launched its Seat Belt Education campaign in 1985 which was one of the most influential campaigns to address driving safety. The public service announcements featured crash test dummies showing what can happen in an accident without seat belts. The Seat Belt Education campaign received more than $337 million in donated media time and space in the first six years of the campaign.

“In the first six months of 1986, a DOT survey in 19 cities reported that 39% of drivers reported using their seat belts as opposed to 23% a year before. Overall, between 1982 and 1988, seat belt usage by all vehicle passengers nationwide increased from 11 to 47 percent.” (Quoted from the AEF website)

Although the AEF ended the Crash Test Dummy campaign in 1999, it continues to live out its mission of reminding viewers that there is never a safe time to not wear seat belts.

This mission sounds similar to the NHTSA’s mission of “reducing crash-related injuries and fatalities while ensuring the highest standards of safety on the nation’s roadways.” (NHTSA)

But again the problem is that the “Click It or Ticket” campaign doesn’t emphasize the importance of seat belt use. Instead it acts as a reminder to hide from the police. While working on this blog I have heard fellow college students, adults, and parents joke about not wearing seat belts. They defended their driving ability and were only concerned with “watching out” for the police.

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Section 27315 states that the first offense for not wearing a seat belt can not exceed $20 (subsequent offenses only reaching $50.)

All this time I was frustrated that the “Click It or Ticket” campaign didn’t send the right message. Now seeing how insignificant the cost of a ticket would be, the campaign seems even more ridiculous. The campaign stresses losing $20 when you could lose your life. With such an insignificant fee the campaign is more like “Click It or Lose Your Lunch Money.”

Mr. Strickland, as the country’s top automotive safety official the time has come for the NHTSA to phase out the “Click It or Ticket” campaign. It is time to develop one with meaning. It’s OUR lives, “Get It Together.”


Mr. Strickland, need some inspiration?

11 12 2011

After researching the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, I realized that my hope for a new campaign is not at all far fetched.

Sure, “Click It or Ticket” rhymes.

It’s cute.
It’s catchy.
It’s memorable.

But it doesn’t spread the message that needs to be shared. Below are some images I found while researching. They make a statement while still giving the right message. While some of them are humorous they are all thought provoking.

My point is that you can get creative.

It can be cute.
It can be catchy.
It can be memorable.

But it needs to make a statement that will be impactful.

And now, for your viewing pleasure:

The only thing the iPhone 4S can’t do for you is drive..

8 12 2011

After my accident, my eyes were opened to the reality of how dangerous driving actually is. In 2010, there were 32,788 traffic fatalities. (U.S. Department of Transportation) After coming so close to death, these statistics hit home more than ever knowing that I was almost a part of them. At times I am frustrated and scared of driving. At times I wish cars didn’t exist. Knowing that in 2009 a car accident killed someone an average of once every sixteen minutes, does the end really justify the means?

Sebastian Thrun, a Google engineer and research professor at Stanford envisions a better future. He says that almost all car accidents are due to human error, not machine error. And these accidents can be prevented by machines. Alongside a team of world-class engineers, Thrun is developing Google’s “self-driving car.”

Autonomous vehicle technology has real potential. Self-driving cars have sensors that detect everything around them. These sensors make decisions about every aspect of driving. These cars have proved to navigate hairpin turns with better precision than humanly possible. If that isn’t already enough to make you think twice about the idea, the state of Nevada recently passed a law that paves the way for drivers to operate self-driving cars.

Still not impressed? The average working adult loses 52 minutes a day due to traffic in their daily commute. Due to traffic, 4 billion hours and 2.4 billion gallons of gas are wasted in the United States each year. 32,788 lives are lost. 

Thurn believes that all of the above would cease with the use of unanimous use of self-driving cars. They would make driving available to the tens of millions of people who are denied the privilege due to their health or age. Talk about making our lives easier? Self-driving cars would be operable by the blind.

“Some of these changes are far out in the future. But I envision a future in which our technology is available to everyone, in every car. I envision a future without traffic accidents or congestion. A future where everyone can use a car.”

“I’m really looking forward to a time when generations after us look back at us and say how ridiculous it was that humans were driving cars.”


Want to read more?

Here’s more from the source.

And even more!

It’s not always in your control

7 12 2011

One of the most common reasons I hear people say they don’t wear their seat belt is because they are a good driver.  “I’m not going to get into an accident.” I don’t doubt that you’re a good driver. What we need to realize is that we are not in control of who is driving around us. Below are testimonies I received that validate my point:

Joey DeFelice

When I was nine years old, my family and I were in our Suburban driving down from Chicago to Texas for a vacation. We hadn’t made it too far when a huge blizzard hit us driving on the freeway in Southern Illinois. My dad continued to drive safely through the storm. All of the sudden an oncoming semi-truck drifted into our lane. My dad swerved out of our lane in order to avoid getting hit. The car rolled three times and landed in a ditch. Six of us were in the car. Five of us were seat belted and remained uninjured. My brother, who was seven at the time, had just unbuckled his seat belt in order to change the DVD that we were watching. The accident happened in that exact moment. My brother was thrown around the car. He miraculously survived because he managed to bounce around and hit the blankets and things we had packed in the car for our trip. He broke an arm and a leg and had to wear a neck brace for a quite some time afterwards. It is a miracle that we all survived. I have no doubt in my mind that I would have been severely injured, or killed, had I not been wearing my seat belt.

Diane Massey

“In the late 1980’s, our family was on vacation heading to Oregon. We were in a van, towing a tent trailer. Through a series of events involving wind, our van ended up rolling over twice, and we ended up upside down. All six of us were being held up by our seat belts. We all walked away from the accident without a scratch, although another passenger who was with us was injured. His situation was that he had taken off his seat belt to “get comfortable” to take a nap. He was thrown from the vehicle and sustained injuries. Had we and our four daughters NOT worn our seat belts that trip, only God knows what could have happened. We were very thankful that our family was safe.”

Kimberley Weber

“I was rushing from my sister’s college graduation during May of 2008, when I was in my first car crash. I was in the passenger’s seat as my twin sister was driving. We just made it to the 5 freeway after rushing from LMU to Chapman to simply grab our textbooks as we had finals the next day. First, we had to fill up on gas right before heading back home for a celebratory lunch. We never made it to that lunch. Someone on the 5 freeway had a different plan that day. Attempted suicide the insurance companies claim…we have never really found out why. A large SUV was literally parked in the farthest lane next to the carpool lane. Keys out of the ignition and no lights on at all. The car in front of us swerved at the last second, leaving no time for us to react. We barely missed the parked SUV and clipped their bottom right hand tail-light. The car behind us, also in a frantic state, clipped our bottom left tail-light as they tried to swerve left. This spun our car over three lanes. We ended up hitting three more cars after that. The only thing that held my sister and myself together, besides are split second grasping of each other’s hand— was our seatbelt. It is a miracle that we are even alive today. We would not have been so lucky if we did not have our seat belts on. I will never forget that day and will forever know the importance and true beauty there is in life… it is really priceless.”

“You never know what maniac is behind the wheel in the next lane.”

7 12 2011

In order to prove my point I knew that I needed to share more than just my personal story (located in the About Me section). I posted a status on Facebook asking for personal stories and within ten minutes, I received four different powerful stories about how seat belts saved lives. One was from a former Chapman student. Here’s what she had to say:

“My personal story of when I was 9 years old.

One Sunday evening in 1999 (before CA law required children to be in the backseat) my mom was driving us home from church, which was less than 2 miles away from our house. In a rebellious mood I vividly remember thinking: “Why do I need to wear my seatbelt when I’m so close to home? I’m just not going to wear it and see if mom notices.” I then hesitated and shrugged “well you never know” as I clicked my seatbelt. While my mom was turning into our street we were rear-ended HARD by a speeding sports car. Everything in our car, (the coca-cola in the backseat cupholders, papers, everything) flew to the windshield. Our trunk was completely crushed and my mom had to get a new car. (side note: I had to do a line-up to identify the driver, my mom was in shock after the accident she was unable to. Turns out he was on the run from police for kidnapping his children during a divorce, and on his way to Mexico)

Without a doubt had I not been wearing my seat belt, I would have been on that windshield too. My mom and I had to go to the hospital for neck injuries/whiplash but nothing too serious.

My point is, it doesn’t matter how close/far your destination is. Whether you’re 2 miles from your house or alone on a long highway, you should ALWAYS buckle your seatbelt. Even if you trust your own driving skills, you never know what maniac is behind the wheel in the next lane.

Seatbelts save lives.”

Excuses and Truths

6 12 2011

If you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning, I hope we are on the same page and you realize the importance of wearing a seat belt. Yet as mentioned previously, one out of five Americans still don’t wear their seat belts regularly. Think of your five best friends. Five family members. Have more than that? ONE OUT OF FIVE.

A seat belt saved my life so I have trouble understanding why anyone would not wear one. I went to an outside source and found common reasons provided by the Kansas Department of Transportation.


“I don’t need a seat belt when I’m traveling at low speeds or going on a short trip.”

80% of all crashes occur at speeds less than 40 mph.
75% of all crashes occur within 25 miles of home.

The force of impact from a 30 mph crash is like falling head first from a three-story building.
Air bags come out of the dashboard at up to 200 mph, if you are not belted you could collide with the air bag.

“I’ll never be in a crash, I’m a good driver.”

Good drivers can be hit by bad drivers. How many people do you hear say, “I intentionally got into a crash.”
Almost all of us will be involved in a serious automobile crash at some point in our life.

“Seat belts are uncomfortable.”

Safety belts are designed to allow you to reach necessary driving controls. If you need something out of reach, you should probably pull over or have a passenger help. However, in a crash the safety belt locks and holds you in place.
Safety belts are a lot more comfortable than a hospital bed.

“I might be saved if I’m thrown clear of the car in a crash.”

If you are thrown from the car, your chances of being killed are 25 times greater than if you remained in the vehicle. In addition, the car might roll right on top of you.

“If I wear a seat belt I might be trapped in a burning or submerged car.”

Less than 0.5% of all injury producing crashes are caused by fire or submersion.
With safety belts, you are less likely to be hurt and more likely to be alert and capable of escaping.

“I’d be too embarrassed to ask my friends to wear their seat belt.”

More than 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. Yet, no one has died of embarrassment.

“It takes too much time and trouble to fasten my seat belt.”

It does not take much time for you to be seriously injured or killed after the collision occurs.

Through my story and other personal stories I gathered, I hope to bring these statistics to life and support these truths in future posts.

Why is it so important?

6 12 2011
If you bake, you use an oven mitt.
If you play football, you wear a helmet.
If you have sex, you use contraceptives.
If you drive, why wouldn’t you wear a seatbelt?

Quoted from the NHTSA website,

“Seat belts are the most effective safety feature available in vehicles today; still
nearly one in five Americans fail to regularly wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.”

  • In 2008, seat belts saved 13,250 lives nationwide.
  • If everyone involved in a fatal crash were wearing their seat belts, an additional 4,152 fatalities could have been prevented in 2008. (NHTSA, 2009)
  • The needless deaths and injuries that result from non-use of seat belts cost society an estimated $26 billion annually in medical care, lost productivity and other injury related costs. (NHTSA, 2002)

The effectiveness is undeniable.

The NHTSA’s mission statement regarding the Click It or Ticket campaign says:

“The national ads…encourage all motorists, to always buckle up – every time, day and night.”

As defined on Dictionary.com,

Encourage: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence

I don’t believe the Click It or Ticket sign encourages anyone. It reminds them, yes, but the people that need to be encouraged are those that do not feel the need to wear a seatbelt. I believe that the best way to encourage seat belt use is by making it real, personal, and by sharing the reason the law was created.