Saving Lives, One Radio Spot At A Time


With kids starting to return to school across the U.S. ahead of the Labor Day holiday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has turned to broadcast radio to get the word out on the top tips one should heed when hitting the road and staying out of trouble.

According to the latest Media Monitors Spot 10 Radio Report, NHTSA spots saw a surge in play count, putting a new campaign in the top 10 with 26,930 airings.

Among the many NHTSA efforts are those against drug-impaired driving, and driving while intoxicated. Child safety is also a top concern for the NHTSA.

But, its most recent effort is preventing hot car deaths.

Children dying from heatstroke in cars, either because they were left or became trapped, have reached a record number. In 2018, 53 children lost their lives — the most in over 20 years. This year, there have been 34 such deaths as of August 16, according to Jan Null, who tracks the incidents through

More than half of vehicular heatstroke cases from 1998 to 2018 were because an adult forgot about a child, Null found. Among the trends he discovered in these incidents:

  • About 44% of the time, the caregiver meant to drop the child off at daycare or preschool.
  • The end of the workweek — Thursdays and Fridays — saw the highest number of deaths.

The current NHTSA effort follows a successful 2012 “Click it or Ticket it” audio campaign, which included both English-language and Spanish-language creative.