Mechanized Death: Legendary Driving Safety Film

1961, Society  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 6.40/10 from 10 users.

Mechanized Death - Legendary Driving Safety FilmLegendary shock driving safety film featuring numerous scenes of mutilated cars and injured/dead people and a voice over lacking in compassion.

Produced in cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and shown to millions of young drivers for over 40 years.

Signal 30 is just one of several Driver's Education films produced by Highway Safety Films, filmed at actual auto accident scenes and consisting largely of color closeups of mangled accident victims.

Other titles in the series included Carrier or Killer, Highways of Agony, Mechanized Death and Wheels of Tragedy. There were also imitators; Death on the Highway is probably the most (in)famous.

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17 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Bungaroosh

    Having a wreck in a 1950's car was like being shot out of cannon face-first into a jukebox.

  2. Mary Williams

    This is 'Signal 30'... Where can I see 'Mechanized Death'?

  3. Mswora

    And seat belts! This was made before seat belts.

  4. Mswora

    Cars are much more safe now. This film could be motivation for product safety standards as for careful driving. Thank you Ralph Nader.

  5. Ann Rhodes

    At 1:06 did anyone else imagine the State Trooper leaping to his feet yelling, "To the Batmobile!" with that horrible action music from the original TV series.

  6. hculliton

    Wow. And I thought Grand Theft Auto was violent!

  7. Yasuhiro Usuba

    Geezus how can anyone watch this stuff? I remember when I was 16 and we had to see a mandatory film on the dangers of wreckless driving, I was eating a hamburger!!! Nothing more grody than someone shoveling half splattered brains off a gritty asphault 2 A.M. in the morning!

    1. Ann Rhodes

      It can be a lot worse. I took shop classes in high school, and in order for our school to be able to insure the students we had to watch a 200+ slideshow of almost every possible mechanical and farm mishap. Thankfully there was only one photo of a dead person. I will say it worked for me though, and I never once did anything for a project at the expense of safety.

  8. Andrew

    We should still be showing videos like this me there a more modern one???

    1. Barry Waite

      It didn't work. That's why they don't show such things anymore.

  9. Andrew Mead

    I remember seeing this film in driver education when I was 16. It was shocking. One of the students who'd seen a mock car accident with lots of ketchup spread on actors in a film the week before and turned the weirdest shade of green and collapsed was asked to not watch Signal 30--it would have killed him...
    I live in Canada but know that if you drive in Ohio, don't speed. Some troopers have zero tolerance for even 1/2 mile per hour over the limit.

    It's amazing to see drivers casually driving through stop signs. Amazing to also see the relative absence of traffic in 1959.

    Seat belts, air bags, collapsible steering columns, padded dashboards and hundreds of other safety improvements have cut the number of injuries per car on the road, significantly--so now, we can confidently drive like i@#$%^. No!!

  10. Another driver

    Good film

    Judging by cars late 50's/early 60's

  11. Dave L

    In their foreseeable future came:

    Seat Belts!

  12. tracy

    My gawd - THAT WAS the way it WAS - no mamby pamby, molly coddling dialogue here - just black and white facts ! - This is fantastic.

  13. InedibleHulk

    DUCK AND COVER! Or no, wait. READ THE SIGNS! Thank you, humorously dated public service films of yesterday. Aside from your soundtrack, a lot still applies today!

  14. Skye

    If possible I'd like to make 2 film requests/info requests here?- I saw a double bill in the cinema of a Japanese director who was commissioned by the railway company to make a film about Japanese railways, however the actual film he made was relentless and dark, showing train drivers trying to stay awake in order to prevent constant danger. Amazingly, after this he was asked by Tokyo police to make another film about driving in Tokyo, with similar results. Does anyone know who this director was? I believe he is quite a famous Japanese director. These are two great documentaries, if you could find them, Id be very thankful!

  15. Lauren

    Oh my god. DRIVERS ED ALL OVER AGAIN! God...