The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is joining forces with the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies and the Ad Council to launch a new national campaign aimed at warning younger drivers of the hazards of texting while driving. The campaign will include TV, radio, and outdoor signs, as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. All ads will direct audiences to www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org.
A recently released survey from the Ad Council shows that texting and driving is becoming a dangerous epidemic in the United States. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is now the number one killer of American teens. Eight-two percent of young drivers (ages 16 – 24) have read a text message while driving. Sixteen percent of all drivers younger than 20 in fatal crashes have reportedly been distracted while driving. A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver.
The new ad campaign is designed to get the message through to young drivers that texting while driving can be as dangerous as drinking and driving. In fact, research has shown that using a cell phone can delay a driver’s reaction times as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, or the same amount as required to be legally drunk. Previous ad campaigns that have been successful have targeted buckling up and the dangers of drinking and driving, and promoters of this campaign are hoping it will be as successful about changing the behaviors of young drivers as the other campaigns.
Have you been involved in an accident because another driver was either texting or engaging in another distracting behavior? If so, you have legal rights against that driver. If you are in California, contact Donald Sjaarda, Orange County automobile accident attorney, at 714-963-8216.