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Crash-Test Dummies Go To The Smithsonian

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Vince and Larry, the crash-test dummies

Vince and Larry, the crash-test dummies

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General Motors crash-test dummies

General Motors crash-test dummies

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The crash-test dummies have taken up residence at the Smithsonian. No, not those Crash Test Dummies. You know—Vince and Larry, the guys who have been features in public service announcements going back to 1985.

It's become one of the most successful safety campaigns in U.S. history, so they rightly deserve a spot at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.

From the mid-1980s through 1998, TV and radio spots as well as magazine ads featured a more slaptick approach, as well as a little comedy—with lines like “it's a great job...they may have to pry me away from it”--to help us understand the importance of buckling up and saving lives.

Altogether, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 84 percent of Americans now buckle up, and NHTSA administrator David Strickland, at a presentation, pointed to the Vince and Larry characters as “tremendously helpful in building public awareness of seat belt use.”

Check out one of the classics below, and remember to buckle up this weekend.


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