Road safety issues are rife with statistics that demonstrate the impact on lives, the economy and the health care system. Those stats can be used to help drive appropriate resources towards prevention and legislation as well as identify resources needed to deal with the consequences of road crashes. It can be all too easy though, to put aside the fact that each road crash statistic is a person, with a family and friends who love them. Their stories help remind people that collisions caused by distracted driving are not only preventable, but they impact lives on a very personal level.
Numbers, statistics and graphs are seldom enough to change behaviours; distracted driving is a behavioural problem, not a technology-based problem. In the nearly six years that Drop It And Drive has travelled across North America delivering presentations to youth and seminars to corporations, we’ve asked our 55,000+ participants what part of the seminar has the most impact.
We consistently hear that it’s the stories we share that changes their thoughts about the real consequences of distracted driving. They begin to understand that getting a traffic ticket is the most benign of consequences compared to the life altering or life ending situations that are taking place daily. Each member of Drop It And Drive has at least one personal story of how distracted driving has impacted us.
Personal stories help seminar participants to associate their driving behaviour to a possible consequence. We also use stories also help explain the science behind how and why distracted driving is dangerous.
This video, from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and the Minnesota State Police, is for all those who still think it’s okay to use their phone while driving. Due to the sheer volume of how many drivers are still choosing to drive distracted, this message bears repeating again and again, until everyone gets it.