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SWERVE Driver Training
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Drive Nice Day
SWERVE Driver Training aims to change the way people drive. Its curriculum is designed to give each student what SWERVE calls the “one-second advantage.” According to SWERVE’s founders, up to 80% of collisions could be avoided if drivers had just one more second of reaction time. SWERVE’s goal is to give its students that one extra second.
SWERVE asked Team Soapbox to help implement a media outreach program.
Team Soapbox worked with SWERVE to highlight some of its driver training programs in the local media and to raise issues of driver safety in the Washington State legislature. To do this, Team Soapbox focused its efforts around an event:
- Drive Nice Day: Team Soapbox created a county-wide initiative aimed at increasing driver (and media) awareness by encouraging people to Drive Nice. In cooperation with Headstrong for Life, SWERVE and Team Soapbox identified dangerous locations throughout Seattle and (safely!) stationed community members around these areas to hand out Drive Nice Day stickers and materials, holding Drive Nice signs and smiling.
In successive years, we set up King and Pierce counties to compete for the title of Nicest Drivers, which attracted traffic reporters and news media to cover the event for the full day, rated intersections for Nice Driving, and held a teen video contest.
- Team Soapbox also worked with SWERVE to approach local media reporters, public officials and well-known spokespeople to change the way they talk about traffic collisions. The goal was to start to shift the language away from considering crashes as ‘accidents’ that just happen, to collisions that can be avoided with safe driving techniques.
- Drive Nice Day was a huge success. More than 16,000 Drive Nice Day stickers were distributed. Passing motorists at the sites were seen slowing down, hanging up cell phones, and Driving Nice.
- King County Executive Ron Sims issued an official proclamation of the day, and Governor Gregoire later declared the day Drive Nice Day. SWERVE has received calls from all over the US from communities looking to repeat the event.
- Drive Nice Day has been covered in print by the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune, on the radio by KOMO, KIRO, KCIS, 1090AM, KVI, and on television by KING 5, KOMO 4, and Q13 Fox, just to name a few.