April Distracted Driving Month
Communications Campaign Concepts
This campaign will build on the new law campaign we rolled out in July 2017. We will continue to use “On the road, off the phone” with our behavior objective—“Don’t use your phone while driving!” We will be highlighting all of the extra enforcement taking place across the state to help motivate people to put their phones away while they drive.
Additionally, we have developed new creative materials with a focus on Washington moms of kids in K-12.
FARS data revealed that distraction is an area that effects higher percentage of women drivers than men drivers. 23% of all female drivers involved in fatal crashes show a factor of distraction compared to 19% of all male drivers.
Given this data, we conducted a survey last April of moms of school aged kids. We discovered that these moms know what they should do, but many haven’t altered their behavior. Sixty-five percent of the moms think “everyone uses their phone while they drive.” This is a good example of a misperception of a social norm since only 44% reported looking at text messages while they drive and only 31% report sending text messages while driving. So, in reality, most moms are not looking at or sending text messages.
Moms make a good audience for our message for several reasons. First of all, there are a lot of moms in Washington—500,000 women with children in K-12th. Also they are already concerned about phone use while driving. Most (55%) are concerned that they may cause a crash using their cell phone while driving. Nearly all (95%) are concerned about their safety and the safety of their passengers if the driver is using a cell phone. Additionally, the survey revealed things that might motivate them to change their behavior. Nearly all of them (95%) are motivated to change when they think about modeling correct behavior for their children. Most (84%) would stop is a passenger or child asked them to stop. Eight in ten thought hearing stories about cell phone related crashes would make them change.
The Protection Campaign
Using this data we added new creative to our store of distracted driving educational materials. We wanted the new materials to make our audience think, “It’s dangerous to use a phone while I drive.” We wanted them to feel that it is their job to protect their children and by using the phone while driving, they are violating that trust. Finally, we want they to put the phone away while driving.
We settled on using the idea of protecting their children as the base of the new creative materials, which you can download using the links at the top right.
We are also excited to announce the new video and radio PSAs in both English and Spanish, which are also available to download. Our child passenger safety program coordinator, Cesi Velez and child safety car seat technician Alan Albe were on hand during the filming to ensure each child was properly restrained in the best seat for their height and weight.
We hope you can share these campaign materials with your task force members and the officers who work the overtime. We ask that you use whatever means are available to you to push the campaign out and ask others to do the same.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Shelly Baldwin, WTSC, Legislative and Media Relations