What You Share Can Save Lives

Every year hundreds of people die needlessly on or around California’s railroad tracks. California has the highest number of Railroad Trespassing and Highway Rail Grade Crossing Fatalities in the United States. Providing Rail Safety Education and raising rail safety awareness is fundamental to everything California Operation Lifesaver does.

California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL) is committed to our mission of providing rail safety education that gives Californians important information on how to keep themselves, their friends, and their families safe near tracks and trains.

How Can You Help Save Lives?

As CAOL works to grow rail safety awareness in communities across the state, we challenge our cities, counties, and citizens to be proactive in becoming Rail Safe Communities. We ask them to join us in sharing rail safety tips. We ask them to help us by sharing and growing our safety message that can help our loved ones make safe decisions near railroad tracks.

Can telling someone about rail safety, then asking them to choose safety and share tips with their loved ones really make a difference?

The simple answer is, YES.

Sharing rail safety tips via Word-of-Mouth (WOM) with family, friends, and co-workers is one of the most effective ways you can promote safe decisions and impact change. Traditionally, word of mouth used to happen face-to-face. As technology has progressed, we also provide WOM recommendations
online too. As WOM remains a valuable component of Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM), it remains the most common way people learn about new offerings, promotions, health care and safety messaging. As noted in the professional marketing world, “even though technological advancements now utilize a variety of marketing channels and tools, word-of-mouth hasn’t lost its relevance.”

People continue to interact with each other in social settings both on and offline. They share their experiences as customers, consumers, health care, safety advocates, and more.

Does What You Say Matter?

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Statistics:

  • Being one of the most trusted channels, WOM is key when it comes to decision making
  • 92% trust recommendations from friends
  • 74% identify word-of-mouth as a critical influencer in our critical decision making
  • 86% of social media users trust word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations.
  • 64% of marketing executives consider word-of-mouth to be the most effective form of marketing
  • Information, recommendations, and Brands that are able to create an emotional connection receive three times more word-of-mouth than those that don’t

How Effective Is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?

One of the most common forms of promotion, people are happy to share their experience with goods or services – either online or face-to-face.

What makes word-of-mouth-marketing so important?

It’s all about the people. People drive the word on a vast array of topics and beliefs. As WOMM professionals indicate: “There’s nothing more powerful to us than our own experiences. The trust factor plays a major role here. Since people trust their friends to give honest reviews of a product, service, or company, they are more likely to make decisions based on recommendations by friends.” This includes recommendations by friends to make informed and safe choices.

As these professionals suggest; “We seek our friends’ advice on just about every topic we can think of… Influencer marketing statistics indicate that many of us also rely on social media shares, likes, and star reviews to make informed decisions.”

What Is the Digital Version of Word-of-Mouth-Marketing?


Whether you are an active social media user or not, there is no denying that social media has grown in popularity. With many more of us spending more time on our mobile devices and a variety of channels, we are regularly interacting with each other making word-of-mouth more powerful than ever.

Utilizing technology, especially the internet, our digital exchanges facilitate and increase word-of-mouth engagement. There are many popular digital formats from social media sites, review boards, and blogs that are used to share our experiences. Sites where we can provide shared testimonials that can influence consumer decisions.

Many successful social media influencers realize their content won’t be restricted to just their followers. They know that when people see, read, hear, or watch something they like, they spread the word, and are more than happy to share it with their family and friends, who in turn share it with their friends. We trust our friends and family.

Applying both online and offline Word-of-Mouth and Word-of-Mouth- Marketing techniques to our Rail Safety Awareness efforts is potentially the most impactful opportunity we have to get the word out and change dangerous behaviors near tracks and trains.

There is always a need for us to continue to educate the public to respect the rails to keep themselves, their friends, and their families safe. California Operation Lifesaver provides free in-person and virtual presentations to all age groups in a variety of formats. California Operation Lifesaver actively promotes and shares rail safety tips to increase our Word-of-Mouth engagement.

Bring It Home… Your Word-of-Mouth Matters

It is not just our efforts that make the difference. It is our partners, followers, communities, and citizens WOM rail safety shares that enhances our rail safety reach.

It is your participation in choosing to make safe decisions.
It is your CAOL WOM rail safety “shares,” both on and offline, that impact our communities to make the choice to stay safe and avoid preventable tragedies.

Can you see yourself asking for or sharing your personal experiences and rail safety tips with your friends and family?

This is why our CAOL program, #SaveLivesTell5 matters.

Join us. Make your Word-of-Mouth count! Bring it home, start sharing our Rail Safety messages today. How many lives can you save?

• Reputation Refinery

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