The notion that 100 percent of traffic deaths are preventable is difficult for many of us (including me) to embrace. But as our local safety advocates kick off a campaign to make the concept state and local policy, this simple four-minute video by the state-funded Zero Fatalities Nevada is a powerful lesson for how to get the idea across.
If you’re interested in the ways that people’s opinions change, it’s definitely worth your time.
But you have to watch it all the way to the end.
The video has a very simple concept: person-on-the-street interviews with a dozen people, asking a series of six questions, in this order:
- How many people are killed on America’s roads?
- What are the leading causes of car crashes?
- Will we ever see a day when there are no fatalities?
- What is a good goal for Nevada?
- What is a good goal for your family?
- Should the goal be zero for everyone?
As you can see in the video above, there’s one point in that sequence where the conversations seem to have changed completely. You can probably guess where, but you really have to see the whole thing to understand how effective the question is.
(And if you’re curious about the real answers to the first two questions, you can see here that the final man they interview in each sequence is right on.)
Hat tip to reader Scott K.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.