“Make Safe Happen”: Nationwide Super Bowl Commercial Causes Uncomfortable Stir

The Patriots have won another Super Bowl season. Whether or not you’re a fan, you probably watched the game and tuned into the commercials – the funny ones, the star-studded ones and, at least this year, the sad ones. For the first time in Super Bowl history, Nationwide has cut into the hearts of commercial spectators everywhere with the company’s “Make Safe Happen” TV spot.

The commercial begins with a young boy recounting important events in his life: learning to ride a bike, a first kiss, even sailing the world and getting married. But the sentiments are cut short when the boy tells viewers, “I couldn’t grow up because I died from an accident.” The camera cuts to an overflowing bathtub, strewn detergent pods and a fallen, shattered TV. A woman’s voice reminds viewers, “At Nationwide we believe in protecting what matters most… your kids… together we can make safe happen.”

The TV spot was criticized for its lack of sensitivity, especially for parents who have recently lost a child due to an accident. And as for its timing during the Super Bowl – a generally low-key, fun time – critics were skeptical of the company’s intent. According to Huffington Post, though, Nationwide says its commercial “was not meant to be a sales pitch at all, but a ‘conversation starter.’”

Interestingly, the news source goes on to note a scientific phenomenon associated with the commercial – a human tendency to focus on fear and pain rather than the joyful events in life. This phenomenon is called “negativity bias” and explains why the commercial got so much buzz following its premiere on Super Bowl Sunday.

Sadly, as the news source states, “Traumatic memories stick with us longer.”

As to whether you agree with the company’s release of the commercial, one thing remains for sure: It’s up to us to prevent children’s injury and fatalities associated with accidents.


The top cause of children’s injury and death between the ages of 1 to 18 are accidents according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). “The automobile accounts for the largest number of accidental deaths,” the NLM cautions. “All infants and children should use the proper child car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.” And, the NLM continues to note that accidents are indeed preventable.


We’ve all heard the saying that children are precious cargo – and it’s true. As responsible parents, we must consider the safety of our children and other children as well. To that end, we must drive cautiously and do all that we can to prevent automobile accidents.

Eliminate All Distractions

Do away with your phone when you’re behind the wheel! It goes without saying that all drivers should focus on the road ahead, not their cell phones. Don’t place a call when driving and never text and drive. Distractions account for a large percentage of accidents on San Diego roadways. Play it safe… better yet, “make safe happen” and simply focus on the road ahead.

Use the Right Booster or Car Seat

Any store that sells child car seats can make the right recommendation for your family. If you child is under the age of 8, consider finding the right seat to accommodate your child’s body, especially head, neck and spine, in the event of a car accident.

Consider a Safer Vehicle

There have been great advancements in car technology in recent years. In a recent blog post, the IIHS credited electronic stability control and airbags for saving thousands of lives. If you’re in an older vehicle with fewer safety features, you may want to consider the option of upgrading to a safer, child-friendly vehicle. To view the nine vehicles the IIHS has said to have received zero fatalities per million registered, click here.

Drive the Speed Limit, Especially Around Schools

The speed limit is there for a reason. It’s there to keep you safe. Simply do not speed, especially on neighborhood streets and near schools. Children are known to “come out of nowhere” and the last thing anyone would want is an accident involving a pedestrian child and/or parent. It’s anyone’s nightmare. So, please reduce your speed as appropriate and follow all posted traffic signage.

Keep Dangerous Household Items Out of Reach

There are many dangerous things in the home. From TVs to laundry pods, each can present danger in children’s hands. Always be sure to secure bookcases, TVs and dressers with wall anchors. Dangerous chemicals should always be placed in a locked cabinet. The truth is that laundry pods are extremely dangerous and have been attributed to multiple children’s injuries and deaths. Please take inventory of your home today and do what you can to prevent needless injury. A few dollars spent on locks or hardware can save your child’s life.

See Through the Eyes of a Child

Try to see life the way a child would see it. From mini blinds to toilets, the potential for catastrophe is always, unfortunately, around us. For instance, mini blind cords could look like a fun toy to a two year old. After all, it can dangle and operate a really interesting window contraption. But, by now we all hopefully know the dangers of mini blinds. The cords can easily strangle a child to death. It is a horrible, scary thought. Fortunately, there are mini blind retro-fit kits available at any hardware store that can keep cords out of the hands of little ones. And, most all blinds are made with less accessible, shorter cording considering the Window Blind Cords Voluntary Standards put in place by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

When it comes to water safety, drowning can occur in the most un-thought-of places, such as the toilet. Small children, explorers by nature, can all too easily lift the lid and play with the water, only to tragically fall in. Within moments, that child could drown. Avoid catastrophe and buy a toilet seat lock, available at any hardware store. Look around your home and consider the “worst case scenario” and, please, do something about it today to prevent injury tomorrow.


If your child has been injured in an accident and you believe it is someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 to discuss your case, FREE OF CHARGE. We don’t collect until we win your case. Call us today: 1-858-551-2090