Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for young people in America, and 75% of them do not involve drugs or alcohol; most fatal teen crashes involve reckless and distracted driving. This year, the senior students of Trumbull Career & Technical Center’s Interactive Multimedia program committed themselves to fighting this preventable health epidemic by creating and launching a strategic Distracted Driving Social Media Campaign that uses a positive community norming (PCN) framework.
Peer-to-peer messaging is a critical component to changing the driving culture. By adopting a PCN framework—one that amplifies the positive behaviors and beliefs of drivers and passengers, rather than focusing on risky behaviors—students can harness the power of perception to cultivate better driving and riding habits among the broader community.
The campaign is part of the Just Drive Contest generously sponsored by New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company (NJM), and hosted by the national nonprofit, Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) whose vision is to change the driving culture to one that is distraction-free. ITD works with champions of all ages and backgrounds—from students and teachers to doctors and first responders—to disseminate evidence-based tools and programming to empower good decision-making in the car.
The Trumbull Career & Technical Center’s Distracted Driving Social Media Campaign is an opportunity for teachers or advisors to engage student leaders in the creation of empowerment strategies and solutions that address reckless and distracted driving. Students leading the effort develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills through conducting research and building strategic communications, as well as advance their technical and creative writing skills.
The students’ campaign will run from Monday, October 11 through Friday, October 15. The campaign is divided into five topics that focus on major causes of distracted driving including phone use, interacting with others, eating or drinking, keeping the radio too loud, and grooming while driving. Throughout all five topics, the students focused on solutions to overcome distracted driving. They also developed and incorporated a character that shows the community what not to do while driving.
Winners will be selected by a panel of qualified judges based on the campaign’s concept and creativity (25%,) execution of the campaign (25%), and the effectiveness of the message (50%). The winning campaigns will be announced the week of April 26-30. Prizes will be awarded to the schools with the best campaigns as follows: First place - $10,000, second place - $5,000, and third place - $2,500.
Thank you for your commitment to make our community safer by helping us stop the number one killer of young people. Together, we can engender meaningful behavior change that will save lives not only in this generation of drivers, but also in generations to come. Community members are invited to support our campaign by following and sharing important announcements by the Trumbull Career & Technical Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the week of October 11, 2021.