Eighty-two percent of young adult drivers (16-24) have read a standard text message while driving, according to a national survey conducted by the Ad Council.
In an effort to educate young drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council are launching a new public service advertising campaign (PSA).
The ‘Stop the Texts’ and ‘Stop the Wrecks’ campaign includes TV, radio, outdoor and digital PSAs. Additionally, to extend the campaign messages online, new Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media channels are going live.
NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. Sixteen percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reports that a texting driver is twenty-three times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver.
[ Also Read: Lemme Sleep When I am at the Wheel ]
“Distracted driving is dangerous, and tragically, teen drivers are the most at risk of being involved in a fatal distracted driving crash,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
“We hope our new ad campaign will send a strong message to teens that putting away cell phones and other distractions while you’re driving is not just commonsense safe behavior, it can save your life.”
Meanwhile, LG Mobile has announced that 16 year-old Austin Wierschke from Rhinelander, WI is the winner of the fifth-annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship. (Read: Teen Turns Quick Thumb Work Into $50,000)
The new television, radio, outdoor and digital PSAs were created pro bono by New York advertising agency The Concept Farm. The PSAs communicate to teens and adults that when you text and drive, you are not multitasking, but essentially driving blind.
By taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, you are making the road less safe for you, your passengers and other drivers. All of the PSAs direct audiences to stoptextsstopwrecks.org, a new campaign website where teens and young adults can find facts about the impact of texting while driving and tips for how to curb the behavior.
The website also has an area where individuals can post, and share on Facebook, what they are doing to stop texting and driving.