Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Shares Catchy Song About the Dangers of Driving Through Flooded Roadways
Music has been used to help people learn things for hundreds of years. Write some creative lyrics based on the information you want people to retain and slap a catchy melody underneath it, and chances are it's going to stick with them longer than if you just told them what you want them to know. For example, have you ever tried saying the alphabet? Not singing it, saying it. You're trying it now, aren't you? It sounds weird, right? Exactly. My point is, we're more inclined to retain information if it's put to music, which I assume is the reason the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet chose to put together a song to remind residents about the dangers of driving through flooded roadways.
How Music Helps Us Learn
There's a reason companies use jingles in their advertising. The goal is that you'll associate the melody with their brand and will (hopefully) be more inclined to purchase whatever product or service they offer from them instead of from one of their competitors. I'm willing to bet that when you read the words, "I'm lovin' it," you know exactly what fast food chain I'm talking about without me actually typing their name. You may have even sung, "da-da-dat-da-da" in your head without consciously thinking about it.
What is it about music that makes our brains react that way? I could have visited several websites, tried to understand their explanation, then attempted to explain it to you. Or, I could share a video with you by someone way smarter and more articulate than I am that can tell you in a way that's easily understandable. I chose the latter.
Hear the "Turn Around, Don't Drown" Song
Transportation departments across the country have been warning about the dangers of driving through flooded roadways for years through a variety of public service announcement campaigns. Many of which use the fact that it only takes rushing water as little as one foot deep to lift a car off its wheels and carry it off the road. To my knowledge, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the first to put that message to music in an effort to help that information stick in residents' brains.
NOAA released the video about four years ago, but after recent heavy rain fell across the state of Kentucky to start 2023, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet thought it might be a good idea to use the video to remind residents that when they drive up to a flooded part of the road, their best option is to "turn around" and "don't drown." The tune is a catchy little county/honky tonk diddy that will likely get stuck in your head for days (which is the point, of course).
The song was written and performed by singer/songwriter Matt Hawk. You can learn more about Matt and the personal reason he decided to become an advocate for the importance of not driving through flooded roadways on the NOAA website.