The Massachusetts Highway Safety Division (HSD) used grant funding from GHSA and the National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) to launch a public awareness campaign. The campaign was designed to engage young drivers on the impacts of drowsy driving and to provide prevention education. The campaign was developed and executed in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health, AAA Northeast and the Massachusetts based Drowsy Driving Prevention Project. The program used social media platforms and media outlets to raise awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving for young drivers.
The team identified a specific time frame to optimize the effectiveness of drowsy driving messages and assessed times young drivers are most susceptible to drowsy driving. The project focused its message during the college finals season with the understanding that students often make long trips home after an intense finals season. Tired, young drivers commonly make these trips. It was determined that Instagram was the most effective platform to reach this audience. Messages were provided to 16 to 26-year-old Instagram users over the two-week week sweep. The campaign delivered almost 2.5 million impressions, reaching more than 1.3 million unique Instagram users in Massachusetts.
In addition to the Instagram messaging campaign, a local media center produced a public service announcement (PSA) for teens about drowsy driving. The PSA aired during November 2019, and the Instagram drowsy driving messaging continued to coincide with the end of daylight saving time.