The number of fatalities on British roads is continuing to decrease year on year, with 1,713 deaths in 2013 compared to 3,409 in 2000. Despite these positive numbers, that still equates to over four deaths a day on UK roads.
Thousands of non-fatal road accidents occur across the world every day too, often due to unsafe driving. Road safety charities have been stepping up their hard-hitting campaigns in recent years. Here are some of the best road safety campaigns.
The UK government’s THINK! road safety campaign has transformed its adverts from the child-friendly, singing hedgehogs of the late 1990s to more impactful ones in the past few years. Their short television adverts usually last no longer than 30 seconds, combining mundane, everyday driving locations with a sudden shock or clever technique that makes them last longer in the memory to reinforce a range of road safety messages.
From adverts about sticking to the speed limit in 30mph zones that use a rewind technique, to the numerous slow-motion adverts, such as wearing a seatbelt to show the impact in vivid detail, each one lives up to its name by making the viewer really think.
Volkswagen’s ‘don’t text and drive’
Volkswagen may have come under a lot of fire recently due to the emissions scandal but its ‘Don’t text and drive’ campaign from 2014 was highly effective. Posters that put a clever spin on predictive text and emojis made up the majority of its campaign.
It was a public service announcement advert in a cinema in Beijing, however, that made it memorable as it soon went viral. The advert featured a point of view shot of someone driving down a road, with texts delivered to cinemagoers at the same time, so that when they all looked down at their phone, the car crashed.
Brake’s ‘not a drop, not a drag’
To highlight the dangers of drink and drug driving, road safety charity Brake started a campaign to promote a zero-tolerance approach to the subject. After years of campaigning, Brake achieved great success when a zero-tolerance drug drive law came into action in March 2015. Its adverts, articles and action all proved effective, achieving such a result that will hopefully save many more lives.
Ford’s ‘selfie killer’
One of the growing reasons for fatal crashes in the last few years has been people taking selfies at the wheel. To make people aware of how incredibly dangerous this is, Ford created their own short TV advert based around a couple in love who die when taking a selfie on the road. The message ‘don’t let it be the last photo you take’ at the end proves a timely reminder of its risks.