Numbers paint a clear picture: Every year, around 1.53 million people lose their lives in traffic accidents worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, while this is the price people should pay for their mobility, the number of deaths could be reduced even more with stricter laws. In Germany alone, road deaths could be reduced from 21,000 people in 1971 to 3,377 people in 2014. Despite the proven benefits of the seat belt and the impending fines for not putting it, still today many motorists refuse to wear the belt. Campaigns for the conscious use of seatbelts are repeatedly used by the transport ministries of the federal states. With a particularly impressive campaign, the New Zealand government now wants to raise people's awareness and focus on the importance of lifesaving seatbelts.
A Few Seconds Can Change Your Life
Liam Bethell was driving his car when he got off the road one evening. With severe bruises on the upper body and arms, as well as cuts in the face, he survived. Without wearing the seat belt, the accident could have been much worse for him.
Seat Belts Leave Their Mark
All survivors wear the tracks of the seat belts on the chest. The bruises that adorn the upper body of men are quite typical, says emergency specialist Natasha McKay. But above all, the bruises showed that the seat belts served their purpose and saved lives.
The campaign of New Zealand's Transport Agency shows the pictures on billboards across the country. The portraits were supplemented by emotional videos in which the survivors tell their story. The aim is to underline the positive benefits of safety belts.
Especially For Men
The aim of the campaign is to change people's awareness rather than just teaching. Especially young men see the safety belt as an option rather than a lifesaving necessity. These campaigns are meant to make the product more attractive to men.
Rachel Prince, responsible for marketing, said in an interview that seatbelts are not just for children or old people, but for everyone. This should also be specifically promoted in the campaign.
The young New Zealander Dylan Chirnside got involved in a car crash not far away from his home and was in a coma after the accident. He suffered severe injury to the spine and brain. The safety belt saved his life.
The survivors are considered heroes in their local community. Like Willy Carberry, who survived a serious accident in 2014 thanks to the belts. His car crashed against a light post.
Put It On
The campaign was not about blaming an accident on a specific person. It only wants to show that one's own destiny can often be taken out of hand. "Put on the seat belt!" is Willi Canberra's message.
When James McDonald got blinded by the sun on the track he transits every day, he collided with a truck. He suffered severe injuries on his face and arm. "If you do not strap on, you are playing with your life", he says.
Will Giles was involved in an accident that shows that you can suffer serious injuries despite the belt. After his accident, he had to learn to walk and speak again. Without the belt he would hardly have survived the accident.