Hi. Firstly, "It got me thinking ABOUT the importance of personal safety"
One main difference between the two is that one is planned and the other isn't. Example:
The power cut got us thinking about how much we rely on technology nowadays (It wasn't planned, but the fact that we were suddenly unable to use electricity made it a relevant subject).
Our university lecturer got us to think about how much we rely on technology nowadays (Intentionally, as part of the lecture).