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"Faces of Drunk Driving" Tells Stories Of Real-life Accident survivors

Through a mixture of poignant storytelling, gruesome details and an accessible web interface, the PSA for Texas Department of Transportation drives home what often seems like an "it’ll never happen to me" scenario.

"Faces of Drunk Driving" Tells Stories Of Real-life Accident survivors

On average, every 31 minutes, someone will be injured or killed in the state of Texas as a result of an alcohol-impaired driver. In 2011, that amounted to 1,037 lives lost. But what of the people who survive? Walking away from a car crash is one thing; enduring dozens of major surgeries, losing the ability to speak, or suffering third-degree burns to over 60% of your body is another. These are the stories that the Texas Department of Transportation wants to tell with its Faces of Drunk Driving, a public service campaign that highlights the horrific stories of car crash survivors.

Built with a scrolling narrative, the Faces of Drunk Driving website first tells the story of Sean Carter, a handsome 22-year-old college football player and model who in 2005 was a passenger in his drunk friend’s car, which spun out of control and hit a tree. The catastrophic accident left Sean with brain trauma that rendered him unable to walk or speak, while the driver was unscathed. Through a series of photos, videos and a written narrative, the story of what he lost, his struggle through recovery, and his new life as a strident activist against drunk driving unfolds.

While Sean’s struggles are the result of a brain injury, the story of Jacqueline Saburido is likely to elicit a more visceral response. A survivor of an impact with a drunk driver, Jacqui suffered severe burns to over 60% of her body that has left her with no nose, ears, eyelids, lips, hair or fingers after the car she was in caught on fire. Still able to speak, though severely scared, Jacqui’s mission is to share with people her story of how one simple act can change a person’s life forever.

By putting real faces to the possible consequences of mixing alcohol and driving, the intent of the campaign, which was created by agency Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing, USA, is to better connect with young people—the most likely to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. It’s a message that everyone knows, but the campaign humanizes the problem in an accessible, effective way.