Historic auto industry films promoting driver safety through education, and by buying new cars and tires too. These films try to scare the general public into buying a particular product. Watch the beginning of consumer fear auto advertising in all its glory.
How To Avoid An Accident
Length: 9 Minutes
How to Avoid an Accident is a classic promotional film that pushes the latest in tire technology: Super Squeegee Tires. Interesting for its classic cars and historical look at automotive innovation, the film also features some fantastic car crash scenes. Animation is also used to demonstrate the horrors of vehicular accidents and the danger they pose to the driver, the unsuspecting pedestrian, and children. How to Avoid an Accident smacks of campy 1940s dryness and rigid word view.
Chance You Take
Length: 8 Minutes
Chance You Take is a well produced 1960s promotional video from General Tire that harps on the dangers of poor quality automobile tires. According to the sinister sounding narrator, every year more than 1.5 million families are involved in a vehicle accident. While there are many factors to blame, no problem is greater than the tires. More than two tons of force is trying to pull apart the tires while a car breaks. Because of this, more thought should be given to ones car. Even those that do not drive often or take long trips should take warning. Around 80% of all accidents happen within 10 miles of home. After painting this dark picture of automobile danger and showing off vintage cars, General Tire has a solution for all Americans! The General Tire Dual 90 is a much wider tire. It offers more stopping traction and seals punctures from nails or other obstacles while rolling. It also has twin treads, which make it the best control tire on the market. Chance You Take is a fun and effective movie. Though the risk factors of driving are sometimes cartoonishly exaggerated, the lessons on unsafe car safety features are still valid today. Bad tires are terribly unsafe. The film also features lots of classic cars and goofy fun with vehicle safety tips.
Knights on the Highway
Length: 8 Minutes
Knights on the Highway is a vintage driving safety film produced by the always entertaining Jam Handy Organization. This video teaches the importance of safety while operating a vehicle at night by using the principles taken by the most practiced of all night drivers, cross country truckers. They impart their knowledge from years of driving onto everyday citizens to help them improve safety on the road. Night driving safety, seen through the lens of the 1930s, has never been more interesting.
The Safest Place
Length: 6 Minutes
The Safest Place is an amusing vintage corporate promotional video sponsored by Chevrolet. Chevy maintains that the companys new 1935 models are the safest place any person could be. To illustrate this point, a man at home comically slips on a bar of soap in his bathtub and almost wipes out, and later tries to straighten a crooked picture on his wall and almost falls to his death. The point was, apparently, that in todays well-engineered Chevrolet (now a vintage Chevrolet), with their redesigned bodies and brakes, it was like driving a living room on wheels, only safer than your actual living room where danger lurked around every corner. Included also are lots of old funky driving videos and wild vintage cars. This humorously contradictory piece of propaganda then goes on to defeat its own message by giving safe driving tips, safe driving habits, and warning the audience to have their cars serviced regularly. We are even told that if we could eliminate the human element by inventing cars that drove themselves, wed be even safer. Is a 1930s old Chevrolet the safest place on Earth? Its up to the viewer to decide.
Your Permit To Drive
Length: 10 Minutes
This beautifully filmed short, Your Permit to Drive, was produced by General Motors Corporation in the 1950s. One of the better driving videos from the fifties, this movie is a succinct and crisp discussion of the pleasure, the privilege, and the responsibility of driving. The narrator is a talking drivers license. He claims that the automobile has allowed for the modern American standard of living. Scenes illustrating this include a parade of different cars, trucks, and buses on the road, as well as a shot of a shiny new convertible being loaded up with groceries. Then the talking license reminds the audience that signing a drivers permit equals signing a pledge to drive safely and respect others rights on the road. The film shows scenes of policemen asking drivers for their identification, and even car accident video clips. The talking license laments that too many young drivers dont take the responsibility of driving seriously, often leading to tragedy. The narrator then compares sportsmanship and the rules of fair play in sports to the rules of driving. Since it would be un-American to cheat in a football game, it is also un-American to disregard the rules of safe driving. Providing tips for safe driving, safe driving habits, and safe highway driving provide some good educational value to the film. Unfortunately many still believe driving is a right – not a privilege – but Your Permit to Drive aims to correct this. Many scenes of daily life from the time are shown, including shots of drive-ins, diners, factories, hospitals, cities like Detroit, and of course, many shots of cars of the 1950s. A relic from the history of General Motors about learning to drive a car safely is both a fun look at the culture of the 1950s and a perfectly relevant lesson on driving safe today.
Length: 18 Minutes
This humorous film by Jack Handy uses the story of Jacks arrest for reckless driving to show how safe the new Chevrolet car designs are. Mary is angry with her father because he doesnt approve of her engagement to Jack. Then Mary finds out that Jacks been thrown in jail for reckless driving because he was speeding in his new Chevy. Mary enlists the help of Daddys attorney who makes the compelling argument that Jack couldnt have been driving recklessly, since the new modern Chevy is so safe. Jack wins the day, and the judge even declares that hes going to buy one of these great new cars from Jack himself. Suddenly, Jacks a golden boy and he and Mary can live happily ever after.