When Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded in 1980, an estimated 25,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes each year in the U.S.
Then Frasier stepped in.
We all know, now, that drinking and driving is a big no-no. But how do we all know that? In part, because shows like the Simpsons and Cheers dedicated plot lines to designated drivers. Growing Pains introduced a character (Matthew Perry!) just to kill him off in a collision.
TV producers didn’t just come up with this on their own. They did it because a team at the Harvard School of Public Health made a case for the message. Now, that team is taking on distracted driving. And it’s proving to be a much trickier problem.