Every two minutes someone is injured in a drunk driving crash around the country. And the Department of Transportation is looking to change that.
For their new nationwide ad campaign, the DOT focuses on the “Four E’s” — enforcement, education, engineering, and emergency medical services. So far, the Four E’s have brought a lot of success as nationwide long-term anti drunk driving trends are positive.
The DOT believes this success is due in part to their creative and hard hitting ad campaigns, which vary all across the nation. While the ad campaigns may differ state by state, the message is crystal clear.
Take Oregon, for example. The state has made it a law to specifically use billboard advertisements as part of their comprehensive traffic safety program. New Mexico has utilized an intensive media campaign, including social media posts to make drivers aware of the dangers and potential risks of driving intoxicated. They also have one of the strictest interlock device laws in the country, which is used both to punish repeat offenders and to prevent them from driving with any alcohol in their system.
Montana is another state that is getting creative with their laws. Native Americans make up about 7% of the population but represent about 20% of traffic fatalities over the past five years. So, the state DOT branch has decided to produce safety advertisements that are relevant and relatable to different Native American cultures, and they are posting them, with permission, on reservation lands.
The Texas DOT is reminding people not to drink and drive by putting the faces of victims of drunk driving on billboardsfor everyone to see. They hope that by making a personal connection to those killed by this serious matter, people won’t even attempt to drive intoxicated.
These creative and unique campaigns seem to be working. In recent years more than 90% of Americans report wearing a seatbelt. Traffic fatalities nationwide also dropped from more than 51,000 in 1980 to 33,000 in 2014.