TXST students, TAMACC, and Texas Mutual unite in campaign for traffic safety
The initiative also invites the public to reflect on fatalities on the roads.
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Calling to remember how Texas broke a 40-year record for road fatalities last year with 4,492 deaths, meaning 12 lives lost every day in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020, The Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) has partnered with Texas Mutual Insurance, Texas State University (TXST), and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to end that streak, which in 2022 has continued on the rise.
Pauline Anton, TAMACC President and CEO, noted:
It’s about saving lives.
With the goal of developing public awareness campaigns that urge drivers, particularly young Hispanics, to wear their seat belts, slow down, and focus on the road, 3 classes of public relations students at TXST have worked with TAMACC to strengthen the strategy.
This is the second time the business organization has worked with Texas students after they collaborated on a COVID vaccine campaign earlier this year.
“Their view is especially important since college-aged drivers have a higher death rate compared to other age groups,” said TAMACC Foundation Chairman J.R. Gonzales.
Among the TxDOT facts that students found most relevant to the campaign, the following stand out:
- Speed was the number one contributing factor, accounting for 34% of deaths
- Driving under the influence of alcohol was the second largest contributor, accounting for 30% of fatalities
- Texas' seat belt usage rate was nearly 90%, but 46% of occupants killed in vehicle crashes in 2021 were not buckled up
- Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are also on the rise
- Motorcycle accidents are also up, with 45% of deaths involving people without a helmet
- Men are involved in fatal accidents 3 times more than women
Students will focus their campaigns on social media channels like Instagram and TikTok, and in some cases, share personal stories about lost loved ones who got distracted while driving.
“Young adults are more likely to get distracted while driving or fail to buckle up. They have a different perspective. They take chances. Having the students on board really helped us understand how to target that generation,” stressed Michael Chacon, TxDOT’s director of Traffic Safety.