Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday! Friday! Gotta BE SAFE on Friday!

That’s right, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety can count itself as one of the 64+ million viewers of YouTube’s latest video sensation: Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song. While we, like so many others, found the song unexpectedly beguiling, we couldn’t help but fixate upon one startling element throughout the video:  the blatant lack of seat belt use. Funny as that sounds, it potentially demonstrates an underlying lack of concern for safety among young adults out having a good time. Understanding that this video is fictional, the fact that it targets young, impressionable audiences and portrays cool looking teenagers riding improperly in both the front and back seats of a convertible sends a dangerous message in an otherwise fun video.  It’s a great example of safety being overlooked as a priority and unfortunately reflects the current state of our traffic safety culture.

Teen driving safety is one of the cornerstones of the AAA Foundation. Habits developed by teens when first learning to drive can last a lifetime, and those habits should be safe ones. A seat belt is a person’s absolute best defense against injury or death in an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2009 alone, seat belts saved 62 percent of teens (ages 16-20 years old) involved in fatal car crashes. So whether you’re “kickin’ it in the front seat” or “partyin’ in the back seat,” the coolest thing anyone can do is buckle their seat belt.  You can’t “get down,” “hang out” or have “fun fun fun” if you never make it to the party. No matter what day of the week, every day should include safety, and safety means always remembering to buckle up. 

Post by Dan Bleier, Communications Coordinator, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

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