Posted by: Date: October 9, 2017 In:

The Goal: Reduce Traffic Deaths in Washington State to Zero

As a client project in this year’s Marketing Management course, the 2018 cohort is working with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC). WTSC has a goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Crashes caused by distracted driving and driving after polydrug (being under the influence of more than one substance ie. alcohol and marijuana) use are on the rise. It is our job as a cohort to figure out why drivers keep making the decision to drive distracted or under the influence and make suggestions of how to get drivers to stop. If the cohort, in combination with WTSC, can get drivers to put the phones down and stay off the roads when under the influences of alcohol, marijuana, or other substances, the goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030 will be that much more attainable.

About the Client

Shelly Baldwin, the WTSC Legislative and Media Relations Manager, expressed the necessity of WTSC and their Target Zero project. This project aims to have zero road fatalities and injuries by the year 2030. According to Baldwin, 94% of crashes are due to human behavior. The top 3 behaviors causing fatalities on the roads are involved with impairment, speeding, and distraction 1. WTSC aims to change that. In a video on their website, WTSC representatives ask Washington residents what the traffic fatality goal for the state of Washington should be each year. Respondents all claimed numbers ranging from under 100 all the way up to 5,000! This was contrasted with their following question which asked what their family’s traffic fatality goal was. The answer was a unanimous zero from all respondents. This is why WTSC’s goal for the state is for there to be zero traffic-related deaths by the year 2030.

About the Project

For the purpose of this project, the 2018 MSMR cohort has been divided into two teams. Each team is responsible for researching and gathering qualitative data on either distracted driving or driving under the influence of multiple substances (polydrug). The cohort hopes to help WTSC understand their drivers and create a campaign that encourages a change in behavior to stop driving under the influence of distractions or substances. Stay tuned for updates on their findings!