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School & Program Updates

Harvard: Center for Health Communication Looks to Tackle Distracted Driving

Cyclists and pedestrians are dying in increasing numbers on U.S. roads, according to recent U.S. government estimates, while overall traffic fatalities, despite a slight drop in 2018, remain up 12 percent since 2014.

The figures, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, show a 1 percent drop in overall traffic deaths last year, but a 10 percent increase in traffic-related cyclist deaths and a 4 percent rise in the number of pedestrians killed. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication is planning to tackle a major cause: distracted driving.

The center is joining forces with a Hollywood animation studio and a New York ad firm to develop a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the need for drivers to remain focused, a problem that has proved resistant to efforts by legislatures, federal and state agencies, insurance companies, carmakers, nonprofits, and others.

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