Working with the media to promote safer roads and vehicles
Proceedings of the 2004 Road Safety, Research, Policing, and Education Conference (CD-ROM)
For the first 50 years or so of motorization, efforts to reduce motor vehicle crash deaths and injuries focused almost exclusively on trying to prevent crashes by changing driver behavior through education. In the 1960s a science-based approach with a much wider range of countermeasures began to be adopted. Under this approach the importance of reducing the consequences of crashes also was recognized. Australia led the world in using some of these newer concepts to introduce the first laws to require motorcycle helmet and safety belt use in the 1960s. In the 1970-80s vehicle safety features designed to reduce the consequences of crashes were added to new cars, largely in response to government regulation. This presentation will review the history of vehicle safety design and the role of the media in creating a vehicle safety marketplace.
Content analysis of television advertising for cars and minivans: 1983-98
Ferguson, Susan A.; Hardy, Andrew P.; Williams, Allan F.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
Very little systematic information is available about the predominant advertising themes automobile manufacturers have depicted over the years. The goal of the present study was to analyze television vehicle advertising to understand how cars and passenger vans are being portrayed in the media and how this has changed over time. A virtually complete sample (561) of car and passenger van advertisements from 1998, and a sample of advertisements from 1983 (98), 1988 (96), and 1993 (95), was analyzed for content. Performance, most often exemplified as speed, power, and maneuverability, was the primary theme in 17% of advertisements in 1998 and was depicted in half of all advertisements. Performance was also the most frequent theme over time. Sales incentives also was a popular theme in each year studied, and was predominant in 1993. Safety was mentioned infrequently, except in 1993; a time when manufacturers were competing to install airbags in their vehicles. A focus on vehicle performance in advertising that does not depict the potential negative consequences can have the deleterious effects of glamorizing and legitimizing high-speed travel. Furthermore, manufacturers are missing an opportunity to promote vehicle safety, a feature that consumers have indicated is very important to them.
A media role for public health compliance?
Kelley Albert Benjamin
Compliance in Health Care
"All of us who care so much and work so hard to make the people healthier and longer lived would be ever so much more effective-if only those people would cooperate!" That is a not unfair statement of a chief frustration among physicians, public health workers, safety activists, and medical researchers. It is a fact of life that human beings, with their countless differences in habits, biases, preferences, fears, and backgrounds, often seem to be the principal stumbling blocks to the effective implementation of health programs intended to aid those very human beings. "If it weren't for the people, think how much we could help them." The most effective programs for producing desirable public health changes are those that, all other things being equal, do not depend on modifying the behavior of the beneficiaries or those around them. These "passive" approaches that work automatically without relying on individual cooperation (as opposed to "active" approaches that require changed behavior by individuals) have been shown repeatedly throughout public health history to have much higher payoffs, and 'over longer duration, than do the active alternatives.
A controlled study of the effect of television messages on safety belt use
Robertson, Leon S.; Kelley, Albert B.; O'Neill, Brian; Wixom, Charles W.; Eiswirth, Richard S.; Haddon, William Jr.
American Journal of Public Health
A study shows that television campaigns do not have any effect on use of safety belts, thus supporting the argument that approaches directed toward changing behavior are inefficient and often ineffective means of reducing highway losses.
Media reporting of traffic accidents, or telling it like it is
Haddon, William Jr.; Kelley, Albert Benjamin
California Journal of Traffic Safety Education
Media coverage of car crashes
Haddon, William Jr.; Kelley, Albert Benjamin
Traffic Digest and Review
Recently a senior government official associated with highway safety was killed in a road crash. News reports of the incident provided ample information as to the individual, his career, and his family. But tragically -- and ironically, in light of the man's well-known involvement in highway safety -- they included hardly a word about the circumstances of the crash in which he died. Nothing was said, for instance, about ages, makes, models, and safety conditions of the involved vehicles; rapidity and adequacy of emergency system responses; the history and license status of the two involved drivers; characteristics of the crash site, and the numerous other factors that even a cursory investigation would disclose.