Transportation-related safety behaviors in top-grossing children's movies from 2008 to 2013

Academic Article


  • © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Objective: Children regularly imitate behavior from movies. The authors assessed injury risk behaviors in top-grossing children's films. Methods: The 5 top-grossing G- or PG-rated movies annually from 2008 to 2013 were included, including animated movies and those set in the past/future. Researchers coded transportation scenes for risk taking in 3 domains: protection/equipment, unsafe behaviors, and distraction/attention. Results: Safe and risky behaviors were recorded across the 3 domains. With regard to protection and equipment, 20% of motor vehicle scenes showed characters riding without seat belts and 27% of scenes with motorcycles showed characters riding without helmets. Eighty-nine percent of scenes with horses showed riders without helmets and 67% of boat operators failed to wear personal flotation devices. The most common unsafe behaviors were speeding and unsafe street-crossing. Twenty-one percent of scenes with motor vehicles showed drivers speeding and 90% of pedestrians in films failed to wait for signal changes. Distracted and inattentive behaviors were rare, with distracted driving of motor vehicles occurring in only approximately 2% of total driving scenes. Conclusion: Although many safe transportation behaviors were portrayed, the film industry continues to depict unsafe behaviors in movies designed for pediatric audiences. There is a need for the film industry to continue to balance entertainment and art with modeling of safe behavior for children.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boppana S; Shen J; Schwebel DC
  • Start Page

  • 306
  • End Page

  • 313
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 4