By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
World’s leading automotive manufacturer, Toyota launched its latest regional safety campaign to promote wearing seatbelts, by their automobile users to head towards a future of accident-free roads across the globe.
The automobile giant’s regional safety campaign for the third consecutive year was launched in Yokohama, Japan recently in the presence of a large participation of media personalities representing the Asia Pacific Region.
With a campaign tagline of “Be Safety Leaders”, the automaker encourages both drivers and passengers to assume proactive leadership in traffic safety by beginning with the simple act of belting up.
The regional safety campaign began in 2014 amidst high traffic accident fatality rates, low law enforcement and general low safety awareness that were becoming prominent issues in a South-East Asian region that was undergoing rapid motorization. In the first year, Toyota focused on call-to-action for greater seatbelt usage.
In 2015, the campaign continued to advocate seatbelt usage and additionally, aimed to empower the public with knowledge to be safety leaders. Given that long-term cultivation and continued reinforcement are needed for behavioral changes, Toyota hopes another year of this call-to-action for greater seatbelt usage will further increase awareness of its importance. This year, it is hoped that the public will be leaders-in-action, assuming proactive leadership in traffic safety and spreading the word about seatbelt importance in the community.
In the latest campaign additional emphasis is placed on countering the public’s prevailing mindset on the usage of seatbelt. While wearing a seatbelt should come almost as a reflex before each journey, according to a survey conducted in 2014, many people are still not belting up.
The top five excuses of not wearing a seatbelt are existing presence of airbags in vehicles; confidence in one’s own driving skills; short journey; discomfort and causing clothes to be wrinkled. Through this educational campaign, Toyota hopes to reinforce that seatbelts complement airbags and increase their effectiveness by 15 times. Furthermore, seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury by up to 50 percent for front seat passengers and 75 percent for rear
President Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd., Hiroyuki Fukui at the campaign launch event said “traffic safety is Toyota’s top priority. We believe in contributing to achieving a society with zero traffic accident fatalities. Through our regional safety awareness campaign, we urge drivers and passengers to belt up to keep themselves and their families safe”.
In addition to last year’s interactive online campaign activities such as Toyota Seat Selfie App and “Go Go Buckle Up” Game, a new campaign video is introduced this year. The video features an emotional narrative of a child urging the parent to belt up for safety. Toyota hopes that the message “Belt on for Every Journey” will raise greater awareness that there should be no excuses to ignore one’s safety.
These activities will be extended to all ASEAN countries, including India, Pakistan and four new Southwest Asian countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Toyota’s safety technology
Toyota continuously strives to develop advanced safety technology and apply them in its vehicles. Features, such as the ‘Pre-collision System’ for supporting collision avoidance or mitigating damage, ‘Lane Departure Alert’ for helping to prevent deviation from traffic lanes and ‘Automatic High Beam’ to enhance front visibility at night, help drivers to avoid accidents.
Toyota’s virtual human computer model, THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety) has also come alongside Toyota’s safety journey to become one of the smartest virtual crash test dummies ever designed.
THUMS not only outlines a human being’s shape but also models the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and internal organs. THUMS’ close resemblance to the actual human body helps safety engineers analyze impact to vital organs during crash simulations, identify safety issues and find their solutions.
In June this year, new models representing children aged ten, six and three were also added to the THUMS line-up to further improve Toyota’s research on injury analysis and safety technology.