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Allstate March 28, 2007

Posted by Stephanie in advertising, Auto's, Government.

While flipping through Business Week for an article to grab my attention I became frustrated and tired.  Closing the magazine and tossing it next to me I noticed the words on the back.  “The #1 killer of teenagers doesn’t have a trigger.  It has a steering wheel.”   A personified car and several paragraphs of information followed.  Who was responsible for this information? The back cover was actually an advertisement for Allstate.

With their motto “It’s time to make the world a better place to drive,” the company forcefully focuses on informing drivers about vehicle safety and how to avoid dangerous situations. 

Their newest campaign is directed towards teenagers, as their lives are greatly impacted by motor safety, even if they think they are invincible.  The advertisement states, “[motor vehicle crashes] take nearly 6,000 [teenage] lives and injure another 300,000 every year.”  Their new safe-driving program, “Keep the Drive” empowers teens with information and the ability to influence others by making smart decisions.  Allstate hopes that teens will recognize and enforce “smart driving is the key to keeping their licenses, their cars, their friends and their futures.”

This advertisement, filled with information triggered more thoughts about motor safety.  Why was this company spending so much time, energy and money to look after the well being of so many people? Is it their job to do so?  After all, they are not the ones even making the cars. I was curious to see what role the government plays in creating and maintaining safety regulations. 

On the U.S. Department of Transportation website I learned that since 1967, standards have been established for all manufacturers of motor vehicle and equipment items.  Constant changes and amendments are made to the regulations.  The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations are minimum requirements written  “that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur.”

The standards fall under three categories, Crash Avoidance, Crash Worthiness and Post Crash Standards.  Of the short overview I read, the standards at least seem to be adequate, but with such high numbers of motor vehicle deaths, are they doing enough?  Should there be stricter regulations, say on the placement of bumpers, since a bumper on an SUV is certainly not going to help the safety of persons in a sports coup if they collide. Heck, seat belts and air bags certainly weren’t originally in cars, but many lives have been saved because of new regulations.   

 What is your feeling about car safety?  Should it be left up to the government, manufactures, and insurance companies or are the present standards and regulations good enough?



1. Brian Mulligan - April 1, 2007

I feel that car safety has been constantly improving over the years as you mentioned in your post. I feel that the government should do a better job informing the public about car safety and improving regulations etc. wouldn’t hurt either. It all depends on pleasing all the different people in the car industry such as the manufacturers and insurance providers.

I think that AllState is creating very strong public image and increase their credibility in the insurance industry. They’re pouring moeny into research about teenagers to impress parents that are buying the insurance. They want to keep their children safe on the roads and the parents are willing to spend higher premiums knowing that their children are safe on the roads.

2. Abby - April 8, 2007

“That’s Allstate’s Stand. Are you in good hands?”
That tagline always echoes after I get through watching a commercial. Some of their commercials, however, are confusing and aren’t to the point. Sometimes they also give rather odd statistics.. that are somewhat related I suppose… “You have a 1 in 10000 chance to be involved in a movie-carcrash, but a 1 in 8 chance to be in a real one.”

Statistic on car accidents that I learned from a Jim Carrey movie: “You’re more likely to die on the way to the airport than on a plane!” – Brownie points to the person who knows where I got it from.

3. silviamocanu07 - April 10, 2007

I agree that Allstate’s approach to educating the public is very original and effective.
The campaign successfully targets the most affected age-group and is able to attract attention through a clear and realistic statistic.

4. Jordi - April 13, 2007

Abby- Where is it from?

I have a hard time squaring how much attention is given to something like the Don Imus bourhaha, or even mroe serious matters like the boy found after years of being kidnapped, when 6,000 teen-agers (and soemthing like 6-7times that many total) DIE each year on our roads. Is this roadkill just ok? How many of these are avoidable deaths?

Wecan have a War on Terror, but not a War for car safety? Why is that?

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