Using a short, to-the-point cautionary ad, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is hoping to dissuade more viewers from texting and driving.
The NHTSA, using Distraction.gov as the official US Government website for distracted driving info, is heading a texting and driving campaign, as part of the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The ad, as part of this campaign, illustrates just how dangerous it is to carelessly text while operating a motor vehicle – as seen in the 30-second clip. It demonstrates, in slow motion, what can happen when a driver is momentarily distracted by their phone.
Across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. This distraction while driving can interfere with visual, cognitive, and manual actions, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Unfortunately, this is especially common among younger drivers. Per the website, 71 percent of teens have admitted to composing/sending messages while driving; 78 percent stating they’ve read messages under the same conditions.
Drivers in their 20’s make up an estimated 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
On average, distractions caused from texting and driving results in nearly 3,000 fatalities and roughly 400,000 vehicular-related injuries each year in the United States.
The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes only decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. And an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. This was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
Those who actively engage in subtasks with their phones are three times more likely to be involved in an accident.
This ad is not the NHTSA’s only initiative in place to deter individuals from texting and driving.
Alongside the graphic 30-second PSA on texting and driving, using the hashtag #justdrive, safety regulators are sponsoring the U Drive, U Text, U Pay initiative.
Many drivers are already familiar with “Click It or Ticket” (seatbelt safety) and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” (drunk driving) as the mantras for national safe-driving programs. The newest, “U Drive, U Text, U Pay,” focuses on texting and driving.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is launching a national television and radio campaign to emphasize that there will be a price paid by those caught sending or receiving text messages while driving, explains the Washington Post.
The $8.5 million national advertising campaign will begin Monday in advance of the planned U Drive, U Text, U Pay crackdown running from April 10 to 15. Those who are caught texting and driving during this period, expect to receive a ticket.
[Photo Credit: Skip&Nell]