In March 2010, AT&T launched a campaign dedicated to educating the public about the dangers associated with texting while driving. The company gathered personal stories from people who had witnessed accidents related to texting while driving and compiled all of these stories into a documentary. The individuals you will see in the video below all have different relationships to the issue – a police officer who saw the scene of an accident, a girl who lost her sister in an accident, a man who was the victim of an accident – but the message they have is the same. All of them tell their stories because of how deeply they have been affected by accidents caused by texting while driving, and they all agree that texting at the wheel is absolutely never worth the risk.
In a day when cell phones are constant companions and more people become addicted to their phones by the minute, it’s unsurprising that texting while driving has become a prevalent and grave problem. Parents have trouble getting teens to put their phones down at the dinner table; twenty-somethings are developing serious neck problems because they’re staring down at their phones more than they look up at the world; teachers are competing with cell phones for attention in classrooms…but none of these things have taken as serious of a toll on humanity as the act of texting while driving. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 1.6 million auto crashes are related to cell phone use each year. These 1.6 million crashes lead to about half a million injuries and take around 6,000 lives. It may be annoying that people can’t put their phones down at home, in the classroom, etc., but it becomes a deadly matter when people can’t put their phones down on the road.
As a parent, significant other, friend, or teacher, it’s easy to focus on the less-troublesome problems that arise from excessive cell phone use, but this video reminds us why it’s so important to keep having informative discussions about the dangers of texting and driving. Often times we think we are invincible, telling ourselves “that only happens to other people, it won’t happen to me,” but the reality is that we are all at risk. If someone you know tries to text while driving, make sure to speak up! Get in the habit of keeping your cell phone out of reach while you drive, and teach your teenagers to do the same when they learn to drive. Little preventative steps could make all the difference in ending these tragic accidents.
What do you think of AT&T’s campaign? Do you think it’s effective? Has this changed the way you view texting while driving? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!