Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Seatbelt Safety Campaign

Morgan Pommier
De’Mornay Pierson-El
Comm 250
Seat belt safety is a topic that needs to be touched on more in this generation. Cars are upgrading with new features every year, teenagers are getting licenses, and people are losing their lives. Although you might hear about new features being added to a car, you never hear about new updates on seat belts. Isn’t it ironic how a non-living thing can save lives? When seat belts are used in the most effective way, they can reduce injuries and save lives. Until you are 13 years old you are required to wear a seat belt. It is the responsibility of the driver to make sure they are strapped. An estimate of 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, according to an article in Road Crash Statistics. Car crashes lead to disabilities and even death. However it can be prevented or reduced by the use of a seat belt.
            Is wearing a seat belt cool? Or is it frowned upon as you get older? In a questionnaire held across the stadium, campus, and snap chat comments we asked a simple question. Why do you think people do not put on their seat belts? Most people sometimes forget to put on their seat belts as they are driving. Others feel there is no need for it. Some haven’t even thought about it. The trouble with seat belts is that most people do not think about using it until it is too late. Up until you hear about a classmate in the most recent car accident, and they won’t make it to the next class, due to the fact they didn’t have their seat belt on, and they died. Too many of these cases have occurred, and it is sad because they can be prevented by using an installed seat belt.
            Our mission was simple, raise the awareness of seatbelts, get people involved, ask some questions, and record the results. The commonly used media was snapchat. With our age group, snapchat is one of the most used social media. With filters, the location settings, video snaps, and space to type, snapchat had the capability to get the message across as well as participation. As stated in the proposal, implicating Support Seatbelt Safety on snapchat would get our friends to get involved. The catchy saying was alliteration. With the same sounding words, it made it easy to promote, explain, and encourage to the community. It did just that and more. After people viewed our personal snaps with the catchy caption, the more seatbelts I seen. This meant the participation and news about the project was spreading. People I personally didn’t even know made an effort to send me a seatbelt selfie. People tend to forget things, however once you remind them, it will be more evident. Some people suggested that wearing a seatbelt was not cool, or even that it blocked the view of a person’s outfit. As De’Mornay mentioned, dying at the event of not having a seatbelt on was not cool either. You would be surprised at the expense teenagers and young adults risk their lives to simply be viewed as cool to the public eye.
            We started the project by leading by example. We had to wear our seatbelts as we drove each day. Day in and day out, we as college students are on the move. Our message was not to just reach one certain group. We wanted this seatbelt safety to reach out to, babies, kids, teenagers, even the elderly. All people who have to travel need to transport meaning they need some safety and the biggest safety is “Safety Belt” while on the move, wearing a seatbelt is the least you could do. Getting to and from school, work and even road trips could be dangerous. By placing it on snapchat and publishing it, people followed along. People also asked questions, such as “where did the saying come from”, “how do I get involved”, “where do I send my picture?” “Can my friends send pictures even if you don’t know them?” Between the two of us plenty of pictures started adding up. We noticed that people like trends, and they love following trends.
We decided to turn the tables and ask the participants questions in interviews. Why do you wear your seatbelt? There were a variety of reasons from each participate had, very situational. One friend explained how she lost her parents in a car accident by a drunk driver. She was so mentally terrified, she didn’t drive until she was 20 years old. A football player explained his relationship with Sam Foltz, reports have stated he did not have his seat belt on. As he drives around he has a pin with Sam’s face across it attached to the seatbelt so he will never forget. De’Mornay being a football player himself, never could forget his teammate nor the tragic accident. I myself also have lost a classmate, and a friend. In November 2015, people were inside of the car, four had a seatbelt on and obtained minor injuries. Two weeks later, the doctors did all they could do and unfortunately the driver, Jawaun did not have his seatbelt on and he passed. Being able to remember to wear your seatbelt can save your life, as well as save the family and friends the grief. I also heard of a testimony more recent. Imagine being inside of a car with your family. Fussing at her to put a seatbelt on, playing around and out of nowhere a car makes a wrong turn and your car spins out of control. You watch your sisters’ body fly around the car, as you are strapped in, incapable of saving her so you watch her die.
            Almost once a week since the project started, we’ve also seen multiple car accidents. On the interstates, downtown and all around the roads that we all take day in and day out. It is scary to think that it could have been your car in the accident. Regardless of how hard it is to hear these stories, this is the reality. This is also only a few out of the interviews we have heard. Truth of the matter is, wearing a seatbelt has more benefits than none. Keeping your life and the lives around you makes life worth living. In some situations, car accidents are not the only outcome. Not wearing a seatbelt could also create an unneeded bill. Polices are trained to serve and protect the citizens of the city. This means protection with yourself, not having your seatbelt on could result in an extra ticket. Officers are also now trained to pull people over if they do not see the seatbelt on. Having a seatbelt on can even save you money. According to an article in the U.S. department of Health and Human Services, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among the ages 1-54. Getting children involved at young ages will allow them to grow up with the mindset to automatically put the seatbelt on.
Within each week, we collected 50 more pictures than the previous week. The pictures continued to add up. We also did a few segments with situational events that occur in a car. Losing your focus is very easy, especially while driving. Having passengers, drivers on the pathways and by ways or even construction. Location features on snapchat, would show the different states people visited. Seatbelt safety is all around the world. Click it or ticket is also a well-known quote that will remind people that the police are on the lookout for seatbelt safety. Growing up, I remember my friends and I didn’t think wearing a seatbelt was cool. Once I started driving, for the first year I couldn’t have more than one passenger. My parents also never let me leave without making sure my seatbelt was on. However to speak to the upcoming generation, whose learned behaviors come from the media, you must take a more interactive approach. A more creative and fun way. Using social media, snapchat being the first gave us easy communication with friends and followers. As they seen our snap, they created their own, and followers that we didn’t even know also participated. With the fancy features the passenger and driver could enjoy music, a 15 second clip, and even pictures. Who would’ve thought a 15 second video, showing off your safety decisions would be our generation’s new way to be safe. Having the seatbelt on in the snap became cool, as soon as the popularity was seen participating. Touching on the appeal to popularity fallacy, it is very easy to get the majority involved. Changing the focus of a video from the outfit to the seatbelt, concluded that our seatbelt safety was more important than swag. As weeks went on, the “if by whiskey fallacy” was practiced.
As we promoted seatbelt safety, they not only participated they agreed. As they continued to send in pictures. One weekend we did a segment as we rode in the car, with a sign that said “Honk If You have a Seatbelt on”. Using Instagram so people could watch us live. Upon the multiple honks, and the annoyance of the sound, and greater distraction we were created, we deceived back home. We parked at Walmart, and got multiple compliments for reminding people to put their seat belt on before traveling to their next destination. The campaign itself was a very interesting and effort fulfilling condition. Understanding peoples personal situational reasons for wearing their seat belts gave more reason to be safe. The reality of it all is travel and transport is an essential key in living in this society. If the inspirational and healthy things are promoted in the media more people will get exposure. Seat belt Safety is very easy to get involved in. Airplanes, motorcycles, bikes and even buses are also a mean of transportation. Being able to at least get seat belts installed in each motor vehicle can also saves lives. However because the drivers go through extensive training, companies feel that is a good substitute for not having seat belts. However no one never expects bad or dangerous things to happen. Attempting to avoid the unexpected is the main goal when driving. Now that project is over, the slogan, along with the snaps has not stopped. My friends and followers continue to send their seat belt safety and my friends are inquiring for more live funny segments. We created a video of all the pictures that got sent in, added a few segments without making the video too long, as well as the car accidents that were getting attended to as we traveled through traffic. We put the video up on YouTube, and now we wait to see the reactions and comments people from all around the world. As we all know, once something is on the internet it is up there for forever. Hopefully seat belt safety will continue to be considered “swag” and cool. This paper was also sent to the Star Tran to hopefully soon install seat belts on buses. The work to improve the safety of all generations should never come to a halt.


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