Speeding, harsh acceleration, distracted driving are all examples of dangerous driving and possible causes for traffic accidents. The number of road accidents per year in Europe is still too high: approximately 1.3 million people die each year in road fatalities, while serious injuries account for 20 to 50 million; hence the need for campaigns to sensitize audiences against the risks of dangerous driving.
Here are a few samples of these types of campaigns, from across Western Europe, highlighting those risks.
1 - Loaded weapon—Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland
In this video, three guys are in a car. All of them, not only the driver, exhibit dangerous behaviour inside the car by distracting one other and the driver isn’t paying enough attention to the road; however, he is also guilty of speeding—everybody’s behaviour is having an impact on safety. Furthermore, the reckless behaviour, demonstrated by these three young men, is not only putting them in harm’s way, but also other road users.
The dangerous conduct is compared to toying with a loaded weapon, as the catchphrase suggests: “Your car is a loaded weapon. And everyone in it has their finger on the trigger.”
2 – THINK! - It’s 30 for a reason—Department for Transport (DfT), UK
This video follows the daily routine of a man, from the moment he wakes up until the end of the day.
Throughout the whole day in various scenes, in various locations, you can see the image of a dead child on the floor, the pavement, the grass in the park etc. It becomes gradually clear that the man is experiencing guilt because he caused the death of a child through excessive speeding.
The video ends with this striking statement: “Kill your speed, or live with it…. It’s 30 for a reason”.
3 – Trop vite, trop tard [Too fast, too late]—Securité Routiere du Gouvernement, France
This French campaign video pictures a family in a car in a frozen image just before hitting another car as it pulls out in front of them; at the same time the family are eerily moving and talking outside the car discussing what is about to happen.
The mother tries to reassure the child by saying the father is going to brake sharply, but it is obvious, even if he does, that it will be impossible to prevent the crash. The car now moves (as if the play button is pressed) and we witness the devastating impact.
The voiceover exclaims “On ne regrette de rouler trop vite que quand il est trop tard”—you regret driving too fast, only when it’s too late.
4 – Únete a nosotros, únete a la vida [Join us, join life]—Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT), Spain
Once again there is a family inside a car. They seem to be in a rush as the father says they have already stopped three times, and later adds that “We will never reach…” referring to the fact that, although his daughter is thirsty, he does not want to stop again to buy water for his child. In order to reach his destination quickly, the father accelerates and then attempts a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre; he subsequently loses control of his car and crashes.
We witness the crash and then hear the same sentence “We will never reach…” once more, this time referring to the fact that there was a car crash—that’s why they will never reach their destination.
The video continues, this time showing the correct behaviour—slowing down and paying due attention when overtaking.