Rural Pickup Truck Drivers and Safety Belt Use: Focus Group Report



Technical Report Page

Executive Summary


Defining the Problem


Gender and Other Characteristics

Laws Pertaining to Children and Cargo Areas

Focus Groups: Background

Moderator's Guide and Topics of Discussion

Focus Groups: Findings

Focus Group Participants' Attitudes Toward Safety Measures

Focus Group Participants' Safety Belt Use

Focus Group Participants' Responses to Specific Reasons/Approaches

Focus Group Responses to Existing Campaign Approaches - English-Speaking Group

Focus Group Responses to Existing Campaign Approaches - Hispanic Group

Campaign Component Development - English-Speaking Group

Campaign Component Development - Hispanic Group



List of Tables

List of Figures





Focus Group Responses to Existing Campaign Approaches - English-Speaking Group

Four television videos, six radio transcripts, two brochures, and three posters were shown to the focus group participants for discussion. The television safety belt campaigns were developed in Oklahoma to encourage safety belt use. Three were targeted to both adults and youth. Each video showed the aftermath of a vehicle crash and the camera zoomed in on the blinking and chiming safety belt symbol on the instrument panel. The vehicles are severely damaged and there is no sign of life. One of the campaigns shows a pickup truck. Another campaign targets children to convince them to convince their parents to wear safety belts.

The focus groups also listened to three 60-second radio spots from Oklahoma and three Ted Nugent radio campaigns from Illinois. Two brochures and three posters were shown from the State of Maryland.

The reality safety belt campaigns from Oklahoma did the best job of garnering attention and generating recall and playback. They depict everyday driving scenarios and got an emotional reaction, even among those who did not have children. All have mothers or sisters and most expressed the hope of having their own children in the future. They said that the flashback scenes were a vivid reminder that "you can be here today and gone tomorrow." Because most respondents felt they could relate to these situations that strengthened their appeal. The radio scenarios involving short distances generated the most interest because men said it was in these situations that they think nothing negative will ever happen.

Participants responded favorably to Ted Nugent in one group and a few from a second group. Most think he is an "over-the-hill rock and roller" who has lived his life in the fast lane and, therefore, is not a credible spokesperson for safety issues. Only a couple of men in Montana truly like his radio spots because they believe they understand what he stands for. One said, "Ted tells it like it is!"

The Texas English-speaking group was asked to recall ads they have seen on television about safety belt use. The two that they mentioned were billboards and road signs: "Buckle Up - It's the Law" and the Vince and Larry crash dummies', "Don't be a dummy...wear your seat belt." They believed that these particular messages went against their philosophy of freedom of choice of whether to wear a safety belt or not. Some said that these slogans tend to cause them to rebel and ignore the law. They felt that the images of actual car crashes and what happens to people in such instances would be far more effective in promoting safety belt use than the crash dummies.

They did not like the information on children riding in the bed of pickup trucks and the accompanying tagline -"kids are not cargo." These men thought that some of the campaigns, because they ignored other dangers such as cell phones, and driving after drinking, lacked credibility, and were weak. They thought the brochures were too hard to read, contained too much information and too many words, and should be simpler.


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