21st Century Insurance Debuts Campaign to Encourage Safe Holiday Driving

December 12, 2003

California-based 21st Century Insurance has released a series of billboards to promote safe driving and child passenger safety during the holiday season.

Two designs encourage holiday revelers to drive sober with friendly reminders “Eggnogged? Hand over the keys” and “Getting lit means putting lights on a tree.” A third lighthearted ad features a reindeer adorned with turn signals and the text “On Dasher. On Dancer. On Blinker when you’re changing lanes.”

In addition, the Woodland Hills-based insurer has again partnered with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to encourage the proper use of child safety seats. The fourth ad features a photo of properly restrained child in a child safety seat with a reminder to “Wrap your most important package safely.”

“As a leading auto insurer, safety is our number one concern,” said Ed Combs, senior vice president of Marketing. “During the holidays people can be pressed for time and may overlook some everyday driving or child passenger safety rules that are proven to save lives. We believe that by educating drivers while they are on the road, we have a unique opportunity to help drivers have a healthy and happy holiday season.”

These safety billboards are part of an ongoing effort by 21st Century and state law enforcement agencies to promote safe driving. In 2001, 21st Century, the CHP and actor Erik Estrada launched a campaign to promote child seat safety program with a series of community events, bilingual guides and outdoor advertising. The success of the child safety seat program led to the development of a series of lighthearted outdoor advertisements focusing on distracted driving and encouraged people to “Just Drive.” In addition to these traffic safety programs, 21st Century will roll out a senior driver awareness campaign in 2004.

The billboards will be posted throughout the holiday season in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Stockton and Fresno.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children.

Furthermore, the NHTSA data shows that 71 percent of traffic fatalities and 66 percent of injuries could be prevented if every child properly used appropriate car seats. The results from the 21st Century/CHP Child Safety Seat events across California reportedly show that at least 80 percent of the children riding in child safety seats are improperly restrained.

In addition, NHTSA reports that 17,419 alcohol-related fatalities occurred in 2002 and of those, over 15,000 were killed by people with a blood-alcohol level in excess of .08, the legal limit in California and 44 other states.

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