Yearly Archives: 2013

Stopping Distracted Driving: What Will It Take?

In 2011, 3,331 people lost their lives and 387,000 suffered injuries in crashes involving a distracted driver…However, notwithstanding the sharp increase in awareness of the problem that has been achieved in recent years, studies suggest that we’re not yet making a significant dent in changing drivers’ behavior. Which raises the obvious question, why not? And, what will it take to turn this problem around? Moreover, why did another campaign — the designated-driver campaign against drunk driving — succeed? And what’s different about the distracted-driving problem?
Jay Winsten, Center for Health Communication at the Harvard Chan School, op-ed published November 1, 2013 in The Huffington Post
Read The Huffington Post Op/Ed

This piece kicked-off the “Road To Nowhere” month-long series produced by The Huffington Post and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication to draw attention to the dangers of texting while driving and asked: How We Can Begin To Curb The Distracted Driving Epidemic?

Hazardous Road Ahead in Fighting Disease

An expansive, intellectually coherent but politically unachievable agenda, fueled by advocates for competing causes, will undercut current efforts to tackle extreme poverty, hunger, and disease that enjoy widespread political and public support.
Jay Winsten, Center for Health Communication at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, co-authored an op-ed published September 18, 2013 in The Huffington Post with Wendy Woods, a principal at The Boston Consulting Group.
Read The Huffington Post Op/Ed

Attention, Undivided

May 20, 2013 — Harvard Gazette: “Each day, an average of nine people are killed in the United States and more than 1,000 injured by drivers doing something other than driving….Jay Winsten, Frank Stanton Director of The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication and associate dean for health communication, thinks it’s time to turn to a higher power: social norms….With legislation outlawing distracted driving tough to enforce and awareness campaigns showing limited results, Winsten and colleagues are planning an initiative to change social norms by enlisting Hollywood as a partner. Such a strategy has worked before….Winsten spearheaded a campaign that made ‘designated driver’ a household term, helping to shape a new social norm that the driver doesn’t drink….the new effort, operating in a dramatically different media environment, will have to forge a new path….But Hollywood will still provide part of the answer, he said….The traditional top-down model of a public health campaign is outdated, he said, because today knowledge is disseminated laterally among the public as much as vertically from traditional knowledge sources.”
Read the Harvard Gazette article by Alvin Powell

One for the Road

March 30, 2013 — This Day, Nigeria: “As a practical and ethical matter, a designated driver is a person who abstains from alcohol on a social occasion in order to drive his or her companions home safely as an alternative to driving under the influence….This concept was imported to the United States…through the Harvard Alcohol Project, an initiative by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication, led by Jay Winsten…the campaign popularized the concept through public service announcements, as well as the encouragement of drunk driving prevention messages and designated driver references in popular television programs….Now that we are on the path to realize the Accra declaration of 2015 and United Nations decade of action on road safety in 2020, the essence of this detour is to bring to the front burner, the need for improved but collective efforts towards an all inclusive advocacy and consolidated funding on the designated driver campaign in Nigeria.”
Read This Day, Nigeria Op/Ed by Jonas Agwu