TXST students, TAMACC and Texas Mutual aim to save lives
BUDA, Texas, Dec. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Last year, Texas had an all-time high number of roadway deaths in 40 years with 4,492 fatalities. That’s an average of 12 lost lives every day in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020.
And 2022 looks like it’s on track to meet or exceed that number.
The Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) has partnered with Texas Mutual Insurance, Texas State University and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to end that streak.
“It’s about saving lives,” said TAMACC President and CEO Pauline Anton.
Three classes of public relations students at TXST have worked with TAMACC to develop public awareness campaigns that remind drivers – particularly young Hispanic drivers – to wear their seatbelts, reduce speed and focus on the road.
“Their view is especially important since college-aged drivers have a higher death rate compared to other age groups,” said TAMACC Foundation Chairman J.R. Gonzales. It’s the second time the business organization works with Texas State students after they collaborated on a COVID vaccine campaign earlier this year.
“Not only do we tap into fresh young minds, but we also help prepare these students for graduation with real world experience,” Gonzales said.
Among the TxDOT facts that students considered for the campaign:
- Speed was the number one contributing factor, accounting for 34% of the deaths; Driving under the influence was the second largest contributor, with 30% of the fatalities
- Texas’ seat belt usage rate was almost 90% but 46% of occupants killed in vehicular accidents in 2021 were unrestrained
- Pedestrian and cyclist deaths are also on the rise
- Motorcycle accidents were also up; 45% of the deaths were people without helmets
- Men are involved in fatal accidents three to one compared to women
Michael Chacon, TxDOT’s Director of Traffic Safety, said young adults are more likely to get distracted while driving or fail to buckle up. “They have a different perspective. They take chances,” he said. “Having the students on board really helped us understand how to target that generation.”
Students will focus their campaigns on social media channels like Instagram and TikTok and, in some cases, share personal stories about lost loved ones who were distracted while driving.
“They had some good ideas that can be implemented during this holiday season,” Gonzales said.
For more information, call TAMACC at 512-444-5727. Reporters are also encouraged to contact Michael Chacon with TxDOT at 512-965-3073 about the statistics.