Social Media and Road Safety

Road Safety and Social Media/ BloggingBackground information

Road safety is regarded by the World Health Organization as one of the fastest-growing threats to the lives of people across the globe. Communication and education through the distribution of road safety information are some of the important elements of all road safety strategies.

It is important that road safety communicators stay in touch with the latest technology and that the newest tools of communication be used to convey road safety messages as best as possible.

The media industry has undergone significant changes over the past years and has given a voice to more than professional journalists. The new social media has opened a new world of communication - a world that can assist in changing driver behaviour and enhance road safety.


Social media can be defined as the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives with each other. A few prominent examples of social media applications are Wikipedia (reference), Twitter (Info and link sharing), Facebook and MySpace (social networking), YouTube (video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Digg (news sharing), Flickr (photo sharing), Miniclip (game sharing). These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis and vlogs to allow users to interact.

The impact of social media on the way we communicate:

Jovan Regasek, the founder of ITWeb, has made the following important observations with regards to the way that social media impacts on the way we communicate:

  • The phrase, “Content is king” was coined, or at least became popular, with the emergence of the online media. The online world is at present overwhelmed with content.
  • The future of online media lies in its ability to provide relevant and intelligent content.
  • Material posted by amateurs begins to command more attention than professionally generated content.
  • Readers have lost their faith in media independence, perceiving traditional media as being either under influence of government or big businesses or perhaps even both: “Moreover, readers are losing faith in the independence of the media professionals. For them, the most reliable source is the people they trust - their real-life or virtual peers. Not experts, not authorities.”
  • Communities and social media are inherent to the Internet. A community generates a vast amount of content, through interaction with each other, contributing to the common knowledge.

The impact of social media on the way we communicate

View from Technorati:

In an interview with Moneyweb, David Sifry- founder of Technorati, has provided insight on the way that social media has expanded and how blogs are playing a major part in on-line communications. Technorati focuses on the real-time conversation that's actually happening on the web by tracking, literally up to the minute, what people are saying about current events, around politics, around the latest in the stocks or finance.  

The following important observations have been made from recent research by Technorati:

  • More and more people are becoming Internet-enabled, whether it's via a broadband connection or whether it's via their mobile phone - the tools to enable them to become creators are becoming super, super simple. 
  • Anyone can share photos on the Internet now, and it's really easy to create videos. And if you want to be able to write an essay, you can write essays. 
  • Blogs are the first indicator of what that enormous trend of people becoming creators has really encountered. 
  • Technorati tracks the enormous growth of people, not just as consumers, but also as creators and participants of all of these different types of media, and what that shift has meant.
  • The power of this media is illustrated by important events in recent years - so, for example, when the subway bombings occurred in London, there were actual citizens there on the train who were taking photos. 
  • We see a very significant change in how people look at the Web, not just as this library, this resource for them, but now as a living thing, a series of conversations.
  • If you are in business and you are not checking what's going on, on the Web around your company, what these people are saying, talking about, what are the videos that they are producing, whether they're using your brand or your competitor's - what are they doing, what are they saying and talking about? - you are really missing out on an important resource.

The way forward:

  • Social media is here to stay and the key challenge is likely to be how we integrate these new technologies into existing media and communication strategies.
  • Road safety can only be achieved with the participation of the public - and social media provides the opportunity to the public to be involved in the road safety discussion and share their concerns, suggestions etc.

To gain some insights on the Arrive Alive Online Initiative and how we use social media to enhance road safety Awareness.

Also view:

Smartphone Apps and Road Safety / Roadside Emergencies

Arrive Alive Online Infographic 2019