Sketch of the Aftermath display

Aftermath

‘AFTERMATH’ is a mobile display of authentic crashed vehicles, information, and video that illuminates the profound importance of safe decision-making on Vermont’s highways.

Aftermath is now under construction! Aftermath is a crashed car, motorcycle, and bicycle on a trailer with messaging and interactivity. When it’s completed it will be available to high schools and communities as a portable demonstration of the potentially catastrophic consequences of unsafe driving decisions.

Aftermath will be a centerpiece of a collaborative initiative to promote and provide cost-free educational safety programming to Vermont high schools and communities.

Work Session

Planning session at VTrans District 5 headquarters  in Colchester.

About the Project

The primary goal of highway safety efforts is to prevent injury and loss of life on the roadways. All drivers need to be focused and make safe decisions. The results of distraction or poor decision-making can be injury or death, for a driver or innocent crash victims. Aftermath reinforces how important it is to be a mindful, safe driver.

Aftermath is a flat trailer with an authentic crashed car, motorcycle and bicycle assembled to it, under construction in 2017. Video displays highlight safety concerns prioritized in Vermont’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a document that prioritizes areas of special concern for road safety in the state. The crashed motor vehicles came to the project thanks to the Vermont State Police, and the families of crash victims have given their support to the project.

Aftermath helps drivers contemplate their own personal role in relation to others who use our roads.The crashes are dramatic and close; being witness to the reality of what happens in a crash — and how vulnerable drivers, passengers, and other road users are — will help foster healthy attitudes about safety. 

This project creates an opportunity for drivers of all ages and skill levels to experience first-hand an example of the lethal outcomes that are possible when drivers are less than totally focused and responsible. The trailer will be an ambassador of a collaborative effort to provide a public inventory of free statewide safety programming that is available to high schools and community groups seeking to elevate the decision-making abilities of their young or student drivers. It will travel to high school campuses, agricultural fairs, public safety events, and through a thoughtful presentation will educate and affect its audience.

Telling the Story

‘Telling the story’ effectively and with gravitas is central to the project.

The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance (VHSA) is a collaboration of safety-minded organizations, public and private, from across the state. They work together to produce the state’s highway safety plan and host programs that make Vermont’s roads safer, through education, building safer infrastructure, improving or assisting law enforcement efforts, and understanding highway safety data better. Aftermath will be a resource to communities and safety programs throughout the state.

Aftermath is a project of the Youth Safety Council of Vermont and the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance. VHSA partners and the public will have free access to Aftermath as a resource for educational or community events such as fairs, school wellness days, conferences, festivals, and graduation celebrations.

The presentation will be designed and assembled with an artist who is skilled with visual composition and safe, large metal work. The messaging and interactivity will be developed with VHSA partners and contractors who care about fostering responsibility and self-awareness among the drivers that view the display.

Collage of trailer images

Strategy for Use

With towing assistance from VTrans and participating VHSA member organizations, the presentation will travel throughout Vermont. High schools students will have access to it throughout the school year, with special focus during prom and graduation season when young drivers experience significant factors that inhibit safe decision-making — and when they’re heading into the summer months, behind the wheel more often.

The project ties into a separate VHSA project that brings together many different free safety demonstrations as a menu that schools can choose from, scheduling them onto their campuses one at a time or several at once. From these resources, schools can create entire safety ‘fairs’ if they choose. The project will try to always be available for these events. A web site for this collaborative safety fair initiative is at https://https://www.yscvt.org/safetyfairs/yscvt.wordpress.com.

A target audience for the project is young drivers, but it’s also recognized that parents of young drivers set an example. The team will help Vermont drivers of all experience levels benefit from exposure to the trailer at statewide agricultural fairs and community festivals, improving safe decision-making across generations.

Broken windshield glass

Construction Timeline & Budget

In 2017, the Aftermath team is completing the first phase of construction and fundraising for the second:

Phase One creates a functional version that can be safely transported to display the crashed vehicles in an attention-holding arrangement. It’s a basic, first step toward creating our final version, but a critical milestone that all the creative elements will eventually be founded on. The vehicles will be drained of fluids and mounted. Loose parts of the car that are important to the visual display will be secured. The gas tank will be removed. The covers used for transporting the trailer, which is required by law when moving wrecked vehicles, will be configured for regular use. Messages and sponsorships will be conveyed with banners. The team will continue to improve the project design and seek support that will move the project to the next phase of development. This work is expected to be completed by the first week of May, 2017. Phase 1 costs total $5,000.

Phase Two expands the trailer to its ultimate configuration, giving it a formal appearance that is engaging and partly animated with interpretive video. It incorporates a generator and lighting to make it functional in the evening and nighttime. During this phase, a sturdy tubular framework will be constructed for mounting lights, flags, a sound system, and vinyl banners for displaying sponsorships, including a large backdrop. The vehicles will be tilted toward the audience; an electrical system will be installed; and two large monitors for the safety and sponsor video messages will added. A generator will be incorporated to make the trailer displays self-supporting. Sponsor logos will be added to the cover used in transport. Paint will be touched-up, and Aftermath will achieve its original vision and potential. Phase 2 costs total $37,000 and completion is pending funding.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Aftermath presents sponsors with the unique opportunity to do both the smart thing and the right thing, in terms of advertising self-promotion and public service education. Sponsoring Aftermath is the smart thing to do because it provides brand awareness unparalleled in Vermont. Sponsoring Aftermath is the right thing to do because it illuminates the profound importance of safe decision-making on Vermont’s highways. Underwriting dollars will go a long way to help make and keep our highways safe while benefitting sponsors with high-profile brand messaging. For an overview of sponsorship opportunities, email info@yscvt.org.

The Audience

In 2017, the Aftermath crash display will be scheduled to visit high schools, and had its first appearance in early May at Mt. Abraham Union High School during a campus-wide safety fair. The Youth Safety Council schedules dozens of Turn Off Texting demonstrations throughout the year at high school campuses and will bring Aftermath to many of them. Community safety events are presented across Vermont; the Aftermath team will be reaching out to their coordinators. With Phase 2 completed, Aftermath will be presented at agricultural fairs across the state, too.

For more information about Aftermath, contact James Lockridge at the Youth Safety Council of Vermont, info@yscvt.org