Sixty percent of young adult drivers (16-24) said they have texted while driving, according to a national survey released by the Ad Council.
To educate young adult drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies, and the Ad Council today, May 1, revealed new public service advertisements (PSAs) featuring NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne.
The new PSAs are being unveiled today to coincide with the first nationwide Stop the Texts Day, and the start of National Youth Traffic Safety Month.
NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.
With recent studies citing that mobile distractions such as texting can be even more dangerous than drinking and driving, parents are looking for answers on how to best educate and promote responsible mobile phone use to their teens. (Read: Watch Out, It May be Your Last Text from Your Car)
The goal of Stop the Texts Day is to extend the message of the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” texting and driving prevention PSA campaign via social media in an effort to educate young drivers about the risks of texting while driving.
Friends and parents of young adult drivers, and other safe driving advocates, are invited to share status updates from the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day on why texting while driving is such a risky behavior.
Stop the Texts
Additionally, supporters can write an open letter to young adults imploring them to not text while driving on the campaign’s Tumblr. A complete toolkit for Stop the Texts Day is also available to provide additional ways the public can participate.
“I am glad that I was able to be a part of this project. The Ad Council folks do a good job of bringing awareness to causes such as this. Hopefully this will help people realize how dangerous texting while driving can be,” said Kasey Kahne, NASCAR driver.
Created pro bono by advertising agency RPA, the television, radio and digital PSAs remind young adult drivers that it is dangerous to do anything that takes your attention away from the road and serve as a reminder to leave the risky driving to the professionals.
The PSAs direct audiences to StopTextsStopWrecks.org, a website where teens and young adults can find facts about the impact of texting while driving and tips for how to curb the behavior.