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Click & Clack’s As The Wrench Turns

On July 9, 2008, PBS moved into high gear with the new primetime animated series CLICK & CLACK’S AS THE WRENCH TURNS, introducing viewers to the fictional world of Click & Clack from NPR’s “Car Talk.”

While the series revolves around Click & Clack’s never-ending quest to do less work, the National Outreach Campaign reflects the real life Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s concerns about distracted driving.


The CLICK & CLACK’S AS THE WRENCH TURNS National Media Outreach Campaign is funded by PBS.

  • Motivate public television stations to generate supercharged ideas for local station outreach – whether a high-octane event, mailing, contest or promotion.
  • Plug stations into their local DMV offices to spark shared activities to promote road safety and CLICK & CLACK’S AS THE WRENCH TURNS.
  • Create campaign tools and resources to fuel local activities and engage audiences. Oil and gas reserves are on the series Web site: http://www.pbs.org/wrenchturns.

The National Outreach Campaign is using distracted driving as the umbrella campaign theme. Teen driving and seat belt safety information will integrate distracted driving concepts to create a focused campaign.

  • Distracted driving
    The task of driving requires full attention and focus. Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to a landmark research report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities such as cell phone use and drowsiness. (Source: NHTSA 2006)
  • Teen driving
    Click & Clack it or ticket. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds (National Center for Health Statistics). Teen drivers are at risk because they are inexperienced. Keeping them safe is a matter of giving them time, and the right conditions, to gain the experience they need to be good drivers.
  • Seat belt safety
    Seat belt use nationwide was 81 percent in 2006, as measured by NHTSA’s National Occupant Protection Use Survey. If everyone consistently wore a seat belt, more than 5,000 American deaths could be prevented each year.

Through a partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), the campaign’s national outreach travel companions, an Outreach Owners Manual has been developed to help public television stations engage your community in fun, safety-inspired activities. In addition to numerous handouts, tools and A Conversation with Tom and Ray, the steering wheel of the campaign’s outreach resources is a Roadway Scourge Quiz and companion Distracted Driving Fact Sheet. Distracted drivers and public-spirited types are invited to answer serious and wacky questions to find out whether they are not reformable, menaces or traffic safety heroes.

Since teens are one of the most accident-prone groups on the road, Click & Clack Teen Driving Violation Tickets provide parents with a clever way to put the brakes on their offsprings’ driving faux pas. The tickets are accompanied by a Fact Sheet for Parents of Teen Drivers. And since kids are the most important things in our lives, the campaign’s Child Passenger Safety handout offers parents rules for transporting their children.