“Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks” is a new anti-distracted driving campaign that was launched today by the Organization of State Attorneys General with the goal of putting an end to teen’s texting behind the wheel. Over 5,000 people were killed in 2009 in auto accidents caused by distracted driving and yet a recent poll shows that 82% of young adults still text while driving.
To simply read a text message a driver will likely take their eyes off of the road for at least 5 seconds. 5 seconds may not sound like a very long time, but when you are driving at 60 mph, it means that your eyes will be off the road for longer than the length of a football field. Here in Washington State texting while driving is illegal but the threat of a ticket just doesn’t seem to be enough to stop the majority of drivers, teens and adults, from using their cell phone while driving. There just aren’t enough police officers to stop every distracted driver. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is hopeful that this new campaign will shed some light on the dangers of distracted driving.
The advertisements for the new campaign will be on TV, radio, outdoor and digital PSAs as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens and that 16% of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.
“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.”
No text message is worth a life. So tell me, how will you stop texting and driving?