DOVER, Del. (Jan. 21, 2021) — The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is rolling out “Slow Down, Arrive Alive,” a new speed awareness campaign focused on educating Delawareans to obey posted speed limits. The educational and motivational campaign includes reaching high-risk young adult males and is launched parallel with four speed-limit enforcement periods throughout the year, the first of which is currently running Jan. 16-29, 2021. OHS is working with state and local law enforcement during these enforcement periods to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways.
The campaign creative and messaging work to disrupt the conversation a young adult male may have with himself — quieting the inner “speed demon” every time he gets behind the wheel. These tactics combat the temptation to speed, the attitude of invincibility, and other self-talk that falsely portrays speeding as acceptable, replacing it with the harsh reality of the many negative consequences that speeding induces. Also, OHS took care to ensure its strategy does not focus on “shaming” but instead leverages the opportunity to encourage young adult males to take control literally and figuratively by slowing down and being responsible drivers and citizens.
OHS is integrating a variety of outlets for reaching and motivating target audiences. This strategy includes digital advertising, paid social media, organic social media, public relations, and grassroots outreach. Additionally, OHS is partnering with Delaware businesses and community organizations such as bars, athletic leagues, golf clubs, fitness facilities, and corporations that offer direct access to target audiences and providing them with communications toolkits to help advance campaign objectives. Lastly, OHS expects to implement one or more public activations when milder weather returns, contingent on pandemic guidelines.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA), speed is a factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities in the United States. In Delaware, specifically:
- Speed was involved in 43 vehicle fatalities in 2019, accounting for 32% of all traffic fatalities.
- Drivers ages 20–24 were involved in approximately 24% of speed crashes in 2020, and drivers under age 19 were in 23%—representing the highest and second-highest percentages in the state, respectively.
- The majority of speed related crashes and fatalities happen on two-lane secondary roads compared to other types of roadways in Delaware.
The fact that 75% of Delaware’s speed-related fatalities — and the majority of all speed-related crashes — occur among young adult males is evident in the messaging and audience targeting of OHS’s new speed awareness campaign.
“We want to reach all drivers, but especially the young adult males falling in the age range of 19 to 24, to remind them that ‘you are not invincible’ and there are consequences for speeding,” said Kimberly Chesser, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “They are one of Delaware’s greatest speeding offenders, and every year we see the consequences seriously impacting their lives as well as lives beyond their own. These range from injury or death to themselves, their passengers and pedestrians, to higher costs for auto insurance, to inconveniencing themselves and others because their license is suspended.”
OHS reminds Delawareans of the many negative consequences that speeding can impose, including:
- Greater risk of crashes, injuries, and fatalities: The greater the speed, the less control the driver has and the higher the severity of the crash.
- Enforcement costs: Speeders receive fines and points on their driver’s license that increase the more they exceed the speed limit. These consequences continue to increase in severity with each repeat offense.
- Inconvenience: The loss or suspension of a driver’s license means having to rely on another person for transportation.
- Loss of dignity: Despite what an inner “speed demon” may say, speeders are generally condoned by society as a whole and seen as a threat to the well-being of others.
- Potentially higher insurance premiums: Driving record is a big factor when it comes to auto insurance premiums. Moving violations, such as speeding tickets, can be a warning to insurance companies that a driver is a high risk to insure. It can also result in drivers having insurance premiums increased.
“Speeding and offensive driving are major problems and tragically contribute to injuries or fatalities from car crashes each year,” said State Farm agent Kim Benton. “State Farm is working with OHS because we understand that inexperience and immaturity can lead to risky driving behavior. Young drivers may not fully understand the consequences of speeding, especially when it comes to fatalities, injuries, and costs resulting from higher insurance premiums, fines, and medical fees. That is why we created the Steer Clear® Safe Driver Discount, a great way for drivers 25 years old and younger to improve their driving skills, understand the risks of unsafe driving, and earn an insurance discount.“
More information on the campaign is available at ArriveAliveDE.com/Slow-Down.
About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com. Follow OHS on the Delaware Office of Highway Safety Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.