U.S. Department Of Transportation Targets Young Male Drivers With Ad Campaign


March 28, 2017

The United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) commenced a public relations and advertising campaign designed to deter male drivers from trying to cut in front of trains. The ad slogan conveys its message abruptly and cogently. The phrase, "Stop! Trains can't" powerfully proves the point succinctly. The U.S. DOT targeted the males 18-49 with the ads, which will run in the 15 states which have the most dangerous railroad crossings and 75 percent of all train collisions. Many significant and complicated legal issues arise when a person is injured or killed in a collision with a train. If you were injured in a collision with a train or lost a loved one in such an accident, then you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law to learn about your legal rights and options.

The U.S. DOT's ad campaign encourages drivers not to take chances at railroad crossings. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all deaths at train crossings are preventable. Despite declining numbers in the last decade, fatal crashes continue to occur between cars and trains. In 2016, 232 people died in railroad crossing collisions. However, one train collision happens every three hours between a pedestrian or motor vehicle in the U.S. Those statistics should make it clear to people who travel near railroad lines to take an extra minute and stop at the crossing. There is no need to try and race to beat the train. The U.S. DOT also reminds people to pay attention to warning signs near railroad crossings.

The ad campaign is running in states where the U.S. DOT has identified the 15 most dangerous intersections. Additionally, the agency is running the commercial in states in which 75 percent of all train crashes happen. Those states are California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Arizona.

Yielding to trains will protect passengers in the motor vehicle attempting to cross the tracks as well as on the train. A train traveling 55 miles per hour needs one mile to stop, even when the emergency brakes are applied. To make the distance less abstract, one mile is the equivalent length of 18 football fields attached end to end. Trains cannot swerve or change lanes to avoid a collision. Consequently, trains always have the right of way. Trains must also follow strict speed limits while en route to their destinations. Some areas, especially those in thickly settled zones and residential neighborhoods, might have a speed limit of only 20 or 25 miles per hour. The train will still need one-half of one mile to stop even at those slow speeds.

The U.S. DOT ad campaign also targets males. Males statistically tend to be risk takers and driver faster than women. The younger the male, the greater risks he is willing to take. Research has shown that there are a few reasons why young male drivers will take unnecessary risks when driving. One is increased testosterone production. Higher levels of the hormone lead to risk taking and thrill seeking as well as the need for stimulation. Risk-taking is also associated with growing friendship bonds among peers and developing self-esteem. One way to combat the effects of male drivers' propensities for risk-taking is to convey a sense of responsibility on them. The hope is that young males will associate responsibility with becoming an adult and reduce the chances they will take, including racing in front of a speeding train.

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Sources:
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/8/suppl_2/ii17
https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/dot-launches-new-railroad-crossing-safety-ad-campaign

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Category: Auto Accidents

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